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No federal charges, but Updyke indicted by grand jury

Auburn Trees Poisoned AP

An already bizarre story has taken yet another head-scratching twist as reports from Tuesday night that reportedly emanated from Harvey Updyke‘s attorney have now been shown to be false.

Here’s a piece of the report published last night by Evan Woodbery of the Birmingham News regarding Updyke, who is facing state charges for allegedly poisoning Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner oaks late last year.

Harvey Updyke now faces federal charges related to the poisoning of oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in downtown Auburn, his attorney tells WSFA.

His attorney, Glennon Threatt of Birmingham, told WSFA in Montgomery that Updyke now faces six additional federal charges. Threatt did not provide details and had not yet returned calls.

Wednesday morning, the Opelika-Auburn News has reported that the story whose genesis was apparently on the Birmingham television station has been determined to be incorrect.  Instead, the News writes, “a Lee County (Ala.) grand jury has indicted the Alabama fan accused of poisoning the Toomer’s Oaks sometime after the 2010 Iron Bowl on multiple charges, including criminal mischief and the desecration of a venerated object.”

According to court documents, the grand jury indicted Harvey Updyke Jr. on two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, a felony charge; two counts of desecrating a venerated object, a misdemeanor charge; and two counts of unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility, a felony charge.

An arraignment has been scheduled for May 26, with a tentative trial date of June 20.  And then, hopefully, within a week or so we’ll never again have to type the name “Harvey Updyke”.

It remains unclear, incidentally, how the erroneous report regarding federal charges originated in the first place.

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17 Responses to “No federal charges, but Updyke indicted by grand jury”
  1. southernpatriots says: May 18, 2011 10:29 AM

    The whole situation is terribly sad. We hope Tides for Toomers (which we happily supported weekly for awhile) and other fund raising efforts are greatly successful and that somehow the many experts working with the trees, which wonderfully now have new spring leaves and buds, will be successful! We know all are saying that it is way too early to tell, but we hope and pray all the trees survive!

    The attorney for this crazed man needs to plead the case and settle it, getting this man some much needed mental help. The attorney announcing federal charges is bizarre. Why would he do that?

    Many thanks to the folks in Auburn who started the Toomers for Tuscaloosa. Situations there remain stark and terrible. Many volunteers are trying to clean up and help families salvage what they can. Churches and groups are working throughout the storm ravaged areas.

    Please keep our folks in south Louisiana in your prayers. The high flood waters are going through Acadiana now. Many homes and businesses are flooded. Thank you and God bless you all!

  2. Deb says: May 18, 2011 11:37 AM

    How do you charge a guy with “desecrating a venerated object” that’s routinely toilet-papered by its own fans? Besides, that’s only a misdemeanor. Criminal mischief and vandalism are felonies that seem to cover the whole thing pretty well. But the guy needs psychiatric care more than trial and housing at taxpayers’ expense. And from some of the nutty things he’s come out with–like this stuff about federal charges–it sounds as though his attorney is nearly as many bricks shy of a load as he is.

  3. southernpatriots says: May 18, 2011 12:12 PM

    Deb: We laughed at your closing. It sure seems like his attorney has problems so we guess they make a good team. We always look forward to your postings.

    Please be in prayer for my daughter. She has been asked by her attorney to respond to many charges leveled against her and desires wisdom and strength to do this. She is believing for a new contract and transfer to a new school (possibly an elementary school) but it apparently will take the Lord’s intervention to see this happen.

    We have had somewhat of a drought in central south Louisiana as you have had. This is a blessing now. The earth is swallowing up some of the flood waters of the Mississippi. So far, the flooding is not as widespread as the Army Corps anticipated, though that doesn’t bring solace to those who were flooded.

  4. bamasucks says: May 18, 2011 12:48 PM

    rolling trees is a harmless tradition that has been going on for decades. spiking trees with enough poison to kill every plant within several blocks of the trees is malicious and worthy of an extended prison sentence.

    i’m surprised that you can’t see the difference and i’d hate to think that this is just your way of passive-aggressively defending the actions of this clown.

  5. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 18, 2011 12:50 PM

    “two counts of desecrating a venerated object, a misdemeanor charge; and two counts of unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility”

    ****************************
    WHAT THE HELL?

    Desecrating a venerated object? What the hell is that?

    Damage or vandalism of property from a crop facility? Are you serios?

    I hardly think the tree sits on a “crop facility”!
    And if you are going to charge someone with “desecrating a venerated object”, (if that means a tree?) then students at Auburn should be charged every time they toss toilet paper into the TREE.

    WTF, is this Mayberry prosecutor from Auburn?

    Look, I am sure this is very serious to Alabamians, but somebody has to say it.
    IT’S A FREAKIN TREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is this all there is to life down there in Alabama?

  6. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 18, 2011 12:52 PM

    bamasucks says:
    May 18, 2011 12:48 PM
    rolling trees is a harmless tradition that has been going on for decades. spiking trees with enough poison to kill every plant within several blocks of the trees is malicious and worthy of an extended prison sentence.

    *************************************

    Don’t you think your stretching it just a bit wee far?

    IT IS A TREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. mortymcfearson says: May 18, 2011 1:48 PM

    Stretching it a bit wee far?

    What is the replacement cost of a 130 year old oak tree should it indeed die as a result? It is not unreasonable that this is the amount that the perpetrator should pay in damages.

  8. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 18, 2011 2:55 PM

    I can go buy a replacement tree for under a hundred bucks thank you.
    Where do you think wood comes from? Ya know the stuff furniture and paper comes from?

    Are you throwing a hissy fit when 100 year old trees are cut down and sent to the sawmill?
    Quit being freakin hypocrits!!!
    Go make some desks, chairs, and paper

    IT’S A TREE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. edgy is under THEE Thumb! says: May 18, 2011 2:56 PM

    edgy = IamAdumbassTrollingCFTwhileDreaming OfAgayMustangDude

    “Desecrating a venerated object? What the hell is that?”

    That’s what others think every time you post to CFT.

    E ngrish-speaking
    D iarrhea-mouth Desecrating a venerated object
    G ushing
    Y iddishians

  10. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 18, 2011 2:59 PM

    Replacement cost of a tree?
    I’m sure he could pay that small bill.

    Why aren’t all of you out in the forest protesting the loggers cutting down all the forests for the paper you write on, and the furniture in your homes?

    Get a life people. It’s a damn tree, sitting on University property whiches charges students/parents too damn much money for an education but provides for free to those that can play football

  11. bamasucks says: May 18, 2011 3:01 PM

    after seeing more 100+ year old oaks uprooted in the tornadoes that came through here a few weeks ago, it hits home how long it takes for trees like that to be replaced.

    if that makes me a tree-hugging hippie, i’ll live.

  12. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 18, 2011 3:08 PM

    bamasucks says:
    May 18, 2011 3:01 PM
    after seeing more 100+ year old oaks uprooted in the tornadoes that came through here a few weeks ago, it hits home how long it takes for trees like that to be replaced.

    if that makes me a tree-hugging hippie, i’ll live.

    ***************************************

    It also make you a hypocritical moron

  13. computer2005 says: May 18, 2011 4:07 PM

    What you are forgetting it takes time to grow hardwoods to cutting age is (30-100yrs) and 1 log truck with all hardwoods price at the mills is around $22,000 worth of wood. That’s a felony amount. If a person dumps pestisides at his house or business the EPA is called out and a cleanup fee is issued for let’s say 50gallons of diesel fuel the cost the EPA fine is about $25,000 and the cleanup fee from a company is about the same so your looking at $50k for 100gallons of diesel fuel now if its a killer toxin like he put down just think of all the people that stood there and it could have absorbed into their body and died. Let say you are a bug man and dump pestides down the street drain and the EPA finds out or comes out your in for atleast 100k fine because is is deadly to human or animal consumption.

  14. edgy is under THEE Thumb! says: May 18, 2011 4:23 PM

    edgy = IamAdumbassTrollingCFTwhileDreaming OfAgayMustangDude

    Every time you post “It makes you a hypocritical moron”.

  15. Deb says: May 18, 2011 4:29 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    Thanks! I’m definitely keeping your daughter in prayer and all those affected by the floods.

  16. southernpatriots says: May 18, 2011 4:31 PM

    Deb: Thank you so much! (I am fighting back tears)….unless God undertakes for my daughter, there appears to be no hope. Thank you again. God bless you!

  17. Deb says: May 18, 2011 4:42 PM

    @bamasucks …

    Was that passive-aggressive nonsense directed at me? Seriously? Um … I’m more the straight-talk type :)

    No, doofus, I don’t sympathize with psychopathic tree-killers, but it is silly to hit the loon with a bunch of penny-ante misdemeanors when a couple of good felonies will do.

    Now sorry as I am about the evil done to your trees by one rogue nutjob, I’m still a Bama fan and you’re still Auburn. And you do toilet-paper your own trees. I mean … just look at that photo. How much temptation can one rival stand? ;)

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