Harvey Updyke, Alabama fan who poisoned Toomer’s Oaks at Auburn, ordered back to court

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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Harvey Updyke, the man who poisoned the Toomer’s Oaks back in 2011 at Auburn University, is scheduled to be back inside a Lee County Courtroom in October.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes told WRBL News 3 that Updyke is consistently failing to make his monthly restitution payments to Auburn University and is now being ordered to go before a Lee County judge and explain why.

Updyke is known for his role in forever changing Auburn University’s Toomer’s Corner when he pleaded guilty to poisoning the Oaks with a powerful herbicide. The trees eventually died and were replaced.

In 2013, Updyke was handed a three-year split sentence with a five-year probation period and was later ordered to pay just under $800,000 in restitution to Auburn University in monthly installments.

Hughes said Updyke has paid less than $5,000 and frequently misses monthly payments, especially now that his probation has ended.

“Harvey Updyke has never left my radar. We have been keeping an eye on his payments or more specifically, his non-payment, and he has made exactly two payments for a total of $200 in the past year. Because of that, we have bee looking for him for close to a year, and we finally found him,” Hughes said.

On Tuesday, Updyke was served with a motion to show cause order when investigators tracked him down in Louisiana.

“He was served with a show cause order on Tuesday basically telling him he needs to be in Lee County court on Oct. 30 of this year to tell the court why aren’t you paying,” said Hughes.

Hughes said that if Updyke fails to appear, he will issue a warrant for his arrest. Hughes adds based on the Alabama fan’s behavior; it’s the district attorney’s opinion, Updyke has no remorse for intentionally killing the Toomer’s Corner Oaks.

“He embraces his role as the villain when he goes to Alabama sorting events, which we know he has been back to an Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa in November. If you have enough money to go see your team play, you have enough money to pay Auburn University,” he said.

Huges said that if Updyke does show, it will be up to the court to decide how to proceed with payments.

What is clear is that Hughes is dedicated to enforcing Updyke to uphold his court requirements.

“As long as I am in this office and he (Updyke) is still breathing, I am going to be a bur in his side under his saddle and make sure he pays what he owes,” Hughes said.

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