Criminal Justice

Alabama Fan Accused in Poisoning of Auburn U Live Oaks Faces Trial in Felony Case


Auburn University.
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Jury selection began Tuesday in the Opelika, Ala., trial of a University of Alabama supporter who is accused of poisoning rival Auburn University’s iconic 130-year-old stand of live oaks at Toomer’s Corner.

Harvey Updyke, a 63-year-old former Texas police officer, faces felony charges of unlawful property damage and criminal mischief and two misdemeanor charges of desecrating a venerated object, reports Reuters. If convicted, he could get prison time.

Updyke, who has pleaded not guilty but apologized to Auburn fans, has already been banned by the University of Alabama from its campus, thus precluding his attendance at home games.

Says his lawyer, Everett Wess: “We’re looking for jurors who can separate facts from emotion and bias.”

The Opelika-Auburn News also has a story.

Earlier coverage: “Man Charged in Auburn U Live Oaks Poisoning; Trees Given ‘Very Low Probability’ to Survive”

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