AUBURN, Ala. -- In front of Samford Hall, just down the block from the dying Toomer’s Corner oaks, Auburn police chief Tommy Dawson gave a candid opinion about Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr., the 62-year-old man accused of poisoning the university’s iconic trees.
“This is a person who obviously has problems to do something like this,” Dawson said.
Only hours after Auburn University announced its historic downtown oak trees had been poisoned by a herbicide called Spike 80DF and would likely perish, Updyke, from Dadeville, Ala., was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of criminal mischief, a Class C felony punishable with one to 10 years in prison.
Updyke, who was held on $50,000 bail, made an initial appearance in Lee County District Court to hear the charges. As of Thursday evening, he was still incarcerated at the Lee County Detention Center.
Dawson said Updyke could face additional federal charges.
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