Friday, 07 August, 2020

Harvey Updyke, man who poisoned Toomer's Oaks, dead at 71

Harvey Updyke left departs the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika Ala. with his bail bondsman and his attorney. The state's football fervor drew plenty of attention after the 2010 Iron Bowl when Updyke Harvey Updyke leaves jail after posting bail in 2013. More
Cary Erickson | 02 August, 2020, 09:28

Harvey Updyke - the Alabama fan who gained national fame for poisoning the famous oak trees at Auburn in 2010 - has died ... his son said Thursday.

Sure enough, the trees died and Auburn had to replace them. In 2010, the Alabama football team had lost against the Auburn Tigers during the Iron Bowl.

He was 71 years old. "I don't want to go to my grave saying, 'Harvey the tree poisoner.' I think in my life I've done a lot of good things, and undoubtedly that wasn't one of them".

Updyke, a former Texas state trooper, became a household name within Alabama in 2011 when he called into the Paul Finebaum radio show on January 27 that year and claimed to be responsible for poisoning the oaks at Toomer's Corner, where Auburn fans historically celebrate big wins by rolling the trees with toilet paper.

"I put Spike 80DF in 'em ... they're not dead yet, but they definitely will die".

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Harvey Updyke leaves jail after posting bail in 2013.

In 2013, the former Texas state trooper pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal damage of an agricultural facility. He was sentenced to three years in prison - he ended up serving six months - and five years' supervised probation. This payment was made after the Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker began discussing placing Updyke in jail for non-payment of the restitution fees. "Well let me tell you what I did".

He was called back into court in October of 2019 after having only paid $6,915.50 of the restitution owed to Auburn, according to court records.

"He's the only person responsible for it", Hughes said. Last year, he told CBS News' Mo Rocca he poisoned the trees because "I wanted Auburn people to hate me as much as I hate them". 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.