Alabama fan who poisoned Auburn trees dies at 71

Harvey Updyke Trial

Updyke is the Alabama fan who poisoned the oak trees at Toomer's Corner.

Auburn has since dug up the trees and replaced the soil, planting new trees in their place. His action came after Auburn's 2010 Iron Bowl victory.

He was 71 years old.

"The weekend after the Iron Bowl, I went to Auburn because I lived 30 miles away", he said at the time.

Nevertheless, on January 27, 2011, a man called the Paul Finebaum sports radio talk show and boasted about poisoning the oak trees at Auburn University.

"I put Spike 80DF in 'em ... they're not dead yet, but they definitely will die". However, the police began probing and traced the phone call to Harvey Updyke.

After being arrested, Updyke pleaded guilty to a Class C felony and was charged with criminal damage of an agricultural facility.

Updyke paid just $8,143 of the almost $800,000 he owed in restitution stemming from the poisoning of the Toomer's Oaks. "I poisoned the two Toomer's trees".

"Let me tell you what I did", Updyke told Finebaum.

After his arrest, Updyke pleaded guilty via a plea deal to poisoning the two trees in 2013 and spent time in jail and was given probation in addition to being ordered to pay almost $800,000 in restitution for the damage he did.

Updyke told a CBS News podcast in the spring of 2019 that he poisoned the oaks because he really, really disliked Auburn. However, following back-to-back payments of $399 on December 6 and 9, Updyke failed to make any further payments before his death Thursday, according to court records. The court is said to have chose to close the case as he did not own anything of value, and he was the only person responsible for the crime.



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