Report: Harvey Updyke back in legal crosshairs over infamous Toomer’s Oaks poisoning
Harvey Updyke, who in 2011 poisoned the historic Toomer’s Oaks at Auburn University, has been ordered back to court for his crime, according to WRBL.
Updyke wrote his own infamous chapter in Auburn’s football rivalry with the University of Alabama, with the Tide fanatic in 2013 pleading guilty to poisoning — and eventually killing — the since-replaced Oaks with a powerful herbicide.
At that time, he was given a three-year split sentence, with five years probation. Updyke was also ordered to pay almost $800,000 in restitution to Auburn, split into monthly installments.
However, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes has now advised that Updyke is consistently failing to make his monthly restitution payments.
The district attorney told WRBL that Updyke has paid less than $5,000 total, frequently missing monthly payments along the way and even more so now that his probation period has ended. Reportedly, the missed payments have reached an egregious level.
“Harvey Updyke has never left my radar,” Hughes told the Columbus, GA-based news station. “We have been keeping an eye on his payments or more specifically, his non-payment, and he has made exactly two payments for a total of $200 in the past year.”
This did not suddenly just become an issue, either.
Hughes said that his office has been attempting to locate the man for nearly 12 months. On Tuesday, they were successful, as Updyke was served with an order to show cause when investigators tracked him down in Louisiana.
“Because of that (non-payment), we have been looking for him for close to a year, and we finally found him,” Hughes advised.
Now, Updyke has a new court date.
“He was served with a show cause order on Tuesday basically telling him he needs to be in Lee County court on October 30th of this year to tell the court why aren’t you paying,” Hughes explained to WRBL.
If Updyke fails to appear, Hughes said he will issue a warrant for his arrest.
“As long as I am in this office and [Updyke] is still breathing, I am going to be a bur in his side under his saddle and make sure he pays what he owes,” Hughes emphasized.
The district attorney believes that based on Updyke’s behavior (and potentially past comments), he has no remorse for intentionally killing the Oaks.
In fact, Hughes said that Updyke seems to celebrate what he did.
“He embraces his role as the villain when he goes to Alabama sporting events, which we know he has been back to an Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa in November,” the district attorney stressed. “If you have enough money to go see your team play, you have enough money to pay Auburn University.”
If Updyke does show up to his October hearing date, the court will decide how to proceed regarding restitution.
This is not the first time Updyke has run into issues with the court following his guilty plea.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn