Poisioner Of Auburn’s Toomer’s Oaks Ordered To Pay $500 A Month . . . For 132 Years

UpdykeWe previously discussed the outrageous act of Harvey Updyke who poisoned the famous “Toomer’s Oaks” because he is an Alabama fan. He has now been ordered to pay $796,731.98 in restitution to the university. He will be allowed to pay $500 a month . . . for 132 years.

Updyke pleaded guilty to poisoning the trees after the Iron Bowl in 2010. He will be required to also pay $2,000 in legal fees and $16,500 in court costs.

He was previously sentenced to three years with at least six months in jail and spend five years on supervised probation for the Class C felony. He has been credited with 104 days already served. I actually view a six month jailing to be light given the destruction of these historic trees and the poisoning of the area. At the time, he posted a statement under a false name stating ”OK, let me tell you what I did the weekend after the Iron Bowl,” ‘Al from Dadeville’ told Finebaum on air. “I went to Auburn, Alabama, because I live 30 miles away and I poisoned the two Toomer’s trees. I put Spike80DF in ‘em. … They’re not dead yet, but they definitely will die.” He then signed off with “Roll Damn Tide.”

Once again, people like this truly mystify me. He clearly thought it was funny to kill these old trees and thought nothing about depravity of his actions. It is chilling to think of how many people like this are walking around society, as subject that we recently discussed with regard to people laughing and cheering as a man burned at a public concert. It seems to be the same phenomenon of people raised without basic sense of humanity or decency.

His lawyer says that Updyke had only $631 to his name at the time of the crime and was on Medicaid and Social Security disability. Yet, he had the money to buy Tebuthiuron to destroy these magnificent trees. His counsel insisted that he is now indigent but the court insisted that he get a job.

It is not clear if the court is prepared to put Updyke back in jail if he fails to get a job or make the payments. That could be the next fight, though it would take Auburn demanding such action.

Source: AO

33 thoughts on “Poisioner Of Auburn’s Toomer’s Oaks Ordered To Pay $500 A Month . . . For 132 Years”

  1. Dredd, Wise analysis. If this guy makes a respectable effort to pay off some of the restitution the PO will have the order changed to a more reasonable amount.

  2. davidbluefish, Great insight. I played football in high school w/ a guy who was well built, handsome, and a good guy. However, when he had just 2-3 beers he would get very aggressive. He wasn’t drunk, just @ the uninhibited stage of having a few drinks. A group of us were @ a dance. Our friend had a couple beers before we went into the dance. There was a fat, “sissified”[parlance of the day], roadie for the band. Our teammate went up to him and said something nothing of us understood, “Apple makes it.” He said it twice, dancing in front of him. Then he sucker punched this roadie and damn near knocked him out. We pulled him off and got outta there. When we got outside our buddy just ran off. When I next saw him he just brushed it off as being drunk. About 5 years later I saw him in a bar and he was out of the closet. I wanted to ask him about that incident but it was tough on my friend to come out so I didn’t want to put him on the spot. Maybe both Incognito and Martin are gay and Incognito is like my buddy?

  3. Mike Spindell 1, November 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I agree with Juliet and AY. a vile act, but an excessive penalty and Nick is right how does this “judgment” get enforced?
    If he pays the $500 per month til things quieten down he may drop below the radar as Nick was alluding to because probation officers do not focus on collecting bills.

    But if he refuses to pay from the get-go, violating the sentencing terms, he might go to jail for longer.

    And claims may be advanced against any assets he may have, and may lie against his estate as well.

    The old addage “don’t start any shit and there won’t be any shit” comes to mind.

    This was a dumb thing for him to do.

  4. Nick in my younger years it was the male thing to do, being homophobic. I had many conversations with gay people in my late teens and early 20s.
    It was then that I discovered gays were just normal human beings.
    I was disconcerted at times at how aggressive some were. I have a better understanding of No means No.
    In my thirties I dated a hairstylist, she had many gay friends. I asked her boss how he handled being gay and living in a society that so easily degraded his lifestyle. His response to me was “I’m lucky I guess”.
    If there can be one statement that concreted my view on the equal rights of LGBT this was it. This guy was comfortable, proud and content.
    All humans should be so with themselves and their decisions.

  5. davidbluefish, My apologies. I thought this was the airline homophobic thread. Never mind.

  6. davidbluefish, Since this Incognito/Martin incident hit the news I thought it smelled of homophobia. It looks like you do also.

  7. Even though I grew-up among major football rivalries, pro and college, the SEC fans seem to be a completely different species of crazy.

  8. I agree with Juliet and AY. a vile act, but an excessive penalty and Nick is right how does this “judgment” get enforced?

  9. Ok… Intentional tort….. Not sure how old he is…. But say he’s 60….. He has 132 years to pay…. Would this include a claim on his estate after he died? Intentional torts are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy…. But this seems excessive…. Some states have restitution statues that commence with the ability to pay….. This seems excessive unless he has some assets that he may sell and the ability to pay….. This is a lawyers dream case or nightmare…. Take your choice…..

  10. Went in dumb, come out dumb too. Hustlin round Atlanta in his alligator shoes,…..
    –From Good Ol Boys album, Rednecks, by Randy Newman.

  11. Wouldn’t “Citizens United” also open up corporate managers, board members, CEOs to the same criminal penalties for similar violations?

    What about when “corporate citizens” poison the environment?

  12. Given the offender’s obvious bad character and apparent low intelligence, it’s going to be difficult to enforce this judgment. Who’s going to hire him? As for ‘people like this walking around in society’ there are very many. I’m not sure I believe the factoid, but about 10 years ago a psychologist published a study in which it was claimed that one of 25 people lack what we refer to as a ‘conscience’. (Sorry, I don’t have a citation to share with you.) This man is clearly one of them.

  13. That’s something that never gets headlines but maybe should. And then these stupid restitution orders will cease.

  14. Judges love to order large restitutions. The probation officers sitting in court, just roll their eyes, knowing it is all show. Probation officers are the ones assigned to collect these showboat restitution orders. This shitbird will end up paying maybe 10k.

  15. The only thing excessive is the leniency most other intentional poisoners (oil companies) are granted.

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