Cut down to size: Tree-poisoning Alabama football fan gets three years in prison

The Daily Caller

The notorious Crimson Tide-crazed football fan and former Texas state trooper who fatally poisoned the huge, beloved 130-year-old oak trees on the campus of Auburn University was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday.

Harvey Updyke Jr. pleaded guilty to criminal damage of an agricultural facility, a Class C felony, reports ESPN.

His sentence requires him to serve a minimum of six months in jail (minus 104 days already served since his arrest some two years ago).

The remainder of the sentence will be supervised probation. Under the terms of probation, Updyke, 64, will have a 7 p.m. curfew. He also won’t be able to set foot on Auburn’s campus or attend any college athletic events.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III also fined the Alabama fan $1,000. Updyke may still be required to pay an unspecified amount in restitution.

“We have a significant number of violent felonies awaiting trial in Lee County and I could not in good conscience justify financing a three-week trial merely to arrive at no better a resolution,” Robbie Treese, Lee County’s District Attorney, said in a statement.

Auburn fans traditionally gather near the previously massive, old-growth oak trees at Toomer’s Corner — the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street — on celebratory occasions.

The gaunt, dying trees will be removed in late April.

Before the plea agreement, Updyke had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, notes ESPN. The array of charges against him included criminal mischief, desecrating a venerated object and damaging agriculture.

Updyke was arrested after someone referring to himself “Al from Dadeville” called into Paul Finebaum’s popular sports talk radio show.

“I poisoned the two Toomer’s trees,” Al from Dadeville said. “I put spike 80DF in ‘em. …They definitely will die. … Roll damn Tide.”

Police later traced the call Updyke’s home.

Updyke’s bond had been revoked in November when he allegedly threatened employees at a Lowe’s Home Improvement Store in Louisiana. (RELATED: Harvey Updyke: From poisoning Auburn trees to terrorizing Lowe’s)

Updyke was returning a lawnmower. He demanded $150 for the lawnmower, and when the store manager only offered $110, Updyke threatened to “come back and take care of everyone.”

The arresting officer told Updyke he could never come back to this Lowe’s again, but Updyke dismissed this warning, insisting he would indeed come back to the store and “it would be his last time.”

The officer arrested Updyke on terrorizing charges.

Listen to the infamous radio call:

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Cut down to size: Tree-poisoning Alabama football fan gets three years in prison

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