After months of theatrics and legal maneuvering, Harvey Updyke, accused tree poisoner, has made a deal with the DA pleading guilty to destroying the iconic Toomer Oaks on the Auburn University campus.
The man who proclaimed his innocence to the media after declaring on a nationally syndicated radio show and later confessing to Plainsman reporter Andrew Yawn that he was guilty, cut a deal with Lee County DA Robbie Treese Friday afternoon.
Treese said Updyke has pled guilty to Criminal Damage to an Agriculture Facility, a class C felony, which will essentially allow him to get out of a possible 13 year sentence with just time served.
Updyke was ordered to pay restitution cost, sentenced to three years and remains incarcerated until he finishes serving at least six months of that time. He has 76 days left to complete the six months ‘incarceration time.’
After he is released on probation, he will be under supervised probation for five years and will not be allowed to attend any college athletic event. In addition, he is banned from being on Auburn University property. And he will be under a court order not to speak with any representative of the media.
The way this guy has sought the spotlight, the latter may be the hardest thing for him to endure.
You had to know a deal would eventually be cut after Judge Jacob Walker had to end the trial when Updyke confessed to Yawn back in June, 2012.
For his part the DA said that with a full case docket, “I could not in good conscience justify financing a three week trial merely to arrive at no better a resolution.”
So on the eve of the University having to remove the beloved Oaks, the sad saga of “Al from Dadeville” and his infamous Spike 80DF poison will finally be over.
I must say I don’t take joy in the demise of a man who has ruined his life. I only feel sadness for the hurt he caused and the embarrassment he brought to those close to him. As this sad chapter comes to an end, lets remember his senseless acts represented no one but himself.
Finally, in a tribute to the oaks, the school will allow the treasured symbols to be rolled one last time when Auburn fans gather after the Tigers’ A-Day game on April 20. But it won’t be the last time we gather to celebrate.
No single act of lunacy can stop the Auburn family from celebrating special moments. No criminal act of vandalism can subdue the Auburn Sprit. And no act of hatred can stop what makes Auburn uniquely Auburn.
Tags: Auburn A day, Auburn blogs, rolling Toomer's Corner one last time, Toomer oaks, Track 'em Tigers, Updyke ... Guilty!, Updyke saga ends