Harvey Updyke is now a free man, will serve remainder of probati - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Harvey Updyke is now a free man, will serve remainder of probation in Louisiana


The diehard Alabama fan who admitted to poisoning the iconic oaks at Toomer's Corner back in 2010 is now a free man.

Updyke was released from the Lee County Detention Facility Monday morning at the end of his three year split sentence. He had 104 days of jail credit...so after serving 76 days following his guilty plea, Updyke is a free man.

According to his attorney, the first thing Harvey Updyke asked for when he walked out of jail was a piece of fruit...a banana to be more specific.

Dressed in an orange shirt and sporting a long mustache, 64-year-old Harvey Updyke walked out of the Lee County Detention facility, heading home to Louisiana, where he will serve out his 5 year probation.

"He wants to go back to Louisiana and never be heard from ever again," said his attorney Andrew Stanley.

His probation includes a 7 pm curfew. He can't get arrested. He's not allowed to speak with the media. He can't step foot onto AU property and is banned from all collegiate sporting events.

"He can't go to a Louisiana Tech track meet, I mean he can't go anywhere," Stanley said.

If he violates the terms and probation is revoked, Updyke will spend 30 months in the Alabama Prison System.

Sources wonder if Updyke will be able to follow the rules.

He still faces charges in Louisiana after being arrested, while out on bond, for getting into a verbal argument with a store manager when Updyke tried to return a lawn mower.

Plus, Updyke has a history of speaking with the media when attorneys say he shouldn't. 

 A newspaper reporter printed Updyke confessed to poisoning the trees during jury selection of his trial, causing the proceedings to grind to a halt. And just days before his release, Updyke met with Paul Finebaum at the Lee County Detention Facility.

Finebaum is the former host of the radio show Updyke used to broadcast his crimes.

Updyke's attorney believes his client will have no problem staying in line with his probation but only time will tell.

Updyke may be a free man...but the financial cost is still being worked out. The district attorney is asking for more than a million dollars in restitution, saying that's how much AU spent trying to save the trees and to redo the plaza with new trees,  now that the iconic oaks have been removed.

Updyke's attorney says that's excessive and a hearing will be held on the issue soon.

See also: Changes coming to downtown Auburn, Toomer's Corner

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