Updyke receives 3 years for Auburn tree poisoning

The judge halted an initial attempt to try Updyke last summer in Lee County after Auburn’s student newspaper published a story in which it reported that Updyke confessed outside the courtroom to poisoning the trees.

In December, defense attorneys said that Updyke is mentally competent to stand trial but they still planned to use an insanity defense because his mental health then and at the time of the poisoning were different issues.

Updyke was arrested just over two years ago after a man calling himself “Al from Dadeville” _ Updyke’s middle name is Almorn _ phoned a radio show claiming he poured herbicide around the 130-year-old oaks. The caller signed off by saying, “Roll Damn Tide.”

Updyke admitted to calling the radio show and to leaving a phone message to an Auburn professor claiming knowledge of the poisoning, court documents said.

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