Auburn community reacts to Udyke's guilty plea

Auburn community reacts to Udyke's guilty plea

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Since the poisoning of the Toomer's Oaks in 2010, Harvey Updyke's actions have created a great deal of anger with Auburn students, residents and alums.

The news of Updyke's guilty plea has circulated quickly around the city and emotions are once again running high.

"I think the punishment could have been a lot more harsh, but since it's gone on for so long, I'm glad we finally have an answer since the trees are about to come down," says Auburn student, Anna Craig.

This saga began in November 2010 when Updyke admitted to using herbicide on the oaks after the Auburn versus Alabama Iron bowl football game.

Then in early October of 2012, Updyke surrendered to psychiatric testing, but was declared competent to stand trial in November.

The trial was just recently moved to Elmore County and slated to begin April 8.

"As an Alabama fan I don't agree with what he did and he definitely should be in jail and this speaks on how much we care about football and how it goes to everyone's head," explains Auburn resident Jarred Payne.

Updyke was sentenced to three years and must remain incarcerated until he finishes serving at least six months.

He will have supervised probation for five years.

Updyke is also banned from any property belonging to the AU, he will have a 7 P.M. curfew and is forbidden to attend any collegiate athletic event.

"To be banned from any collegiate activity, that's probably worse then a life sentence for him. I almost have to say that's justice for his circumstances," explains Auburn fan, Leigh Ceci.

In a press release, Lee County District Attorney, Robbie Treese, stated:

"…I could not in good conscious justify financing a three week trial merely to arrive at no better resolution…"

And Auburn residents couldn't agree more.

"I think in the end it would have been costing tax payers too much and that's just not fair," explains Auburn student Sarah Mallory.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.