Updyke mug

Updyke seeks to lower payments

Published 12:51pm Saturday, December 14, 2013

Famed tree poisoner Harvey Updyke Jr. is looking for some good tidings during the holiday season from the courts.

Updyke, who pleaded guilty to the poisoning of the famed Toomer’s Oaks on Auburn University’s campus, is asking the restitution payments to be made to the university to be cut by 90 percent.

Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker III ordered Updyke to pay $500 a month in restitution. The total amount Updyke is expected to pay is $796,731.98, at which rate would take almost 100 years to pay in full.

Updyke’s attorney, Margaret Brown, argues the $500 monthly payment would put her client in financial hardship and asks the payments be dropped to $50 a month.

She filed the court brief earlier this week in Elmore County Circuit Court.

At the reduced rate, it would take 1,300 years to pay off the amount of restitution.

State prosectuors have been given until Jan. 10 to respond.

After pleading guilty to poisoning the trees, Updyke was sentenced to three years in jail.

He has since been released on probation.

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