When MGoBlog last left the Toomer's Corner poisoning story, Harvey Updyke Jr. had just been taken into custody on charges of Criminal Mischief for poisoning two live oaks (thanks Marvin) on Auburn's campus. He proceeded to call a syndicated radio show and brag about his actions, while giving his real name and town and calling from an unblocked number. He faces up to ten years in prison and up to 15,000 dollars in fines if found guilty.
Since then, several things have happened:
- It has been revealed that the suspect is a former Texas State Trooper, retired after 18 years. Link
- He has since denied poisoning the trees to police after being taken into custody.
- He petitioned the court for an appointed attorney, and that attorney has filed motion to withdraw, stating a conflict of interest (he is a part-time Auburn professor). A new lawyer has since been appointed.
- His son claims he suffers from kidney failure and diabetes, and is on 21 different medications. (Same link as State Trooper above.)
- He has been released on 50,000 dollars bond, and flipped off NBC cameras as he was driven away.
- Alabama has stated that he is not an alumnus nor a season ticket holder. Alabama AD Mal Moore has stated that this was "an awful act, a terrible thing to do."
- Alabama fans and students have begun fundraisers to replace the Toomer's Corner trees, which are said to be valued at around 30,000 dollars each.
- Updyke family members have received death threats from all over the state, causing grandchildren to be pulled out of school. (Same article as Texas Police and family death threats.)
Just thought I'd keep the MGoCommunity informed; this story is an interesting one for me because it really is a sad attack on college football traditions. Thinking that one man, obviously with serious problems, can cause that much damage to an age-old tradition is scary.
Also, if anyone can tell me how to do the links where it can just be one word, like Brian and a lot of the other posters do, I would be happy to go edit for readability. Edit: Fixed, thanks to Tim.