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Man who reportedly poisoned trees is released

A 64-year-old man was recently released from jail in Alabama to be brought back to Louisiana where the remainder of his probation will be served. The man was accused of a crime after authorities alleged that he poisoned Toomer's Oaks, a set of trees that were very important to Auburn University and its traditions. That poisoning reportedly occurred after the 2010 Iron Bowl.

The man was sentenced to six months in jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful damage of an animal or crop facility in March. However, he had already served 104 days in jail when the sentence was passed down. The 64-year-old reportedly turned himself over for mental evaluation and spent some of his days at a secure medical facility. The rest of his presentence jail time occurred when his bond was revoked. His recent release came after 76 days behind bars. His complete sentence -- granted through a plea deal -- included a three-year sentence that saw the remaining 30 months suspended. He will also have to serve five years of probation.

According to reports, the parameters of his probation include avoiding any Auburn University property, a ban from speaking with the media, a 7 p.m. curfew and a ban from attending any college sports events. He is also barred from going to a home improvement store in Hammond, Louisiana, where he was taken into custody in September 2012. The man's attorney reported that the case is not yet over, as there are other issues to attend to, including a request from the district attorney's office for $1 million in restitution for the damage done to the trees.

Anyone accused of a crime should speak with an attorney before heading to court. The results of the man's plea deal in this case show how helpful an attorney can be; instead of serving three years behind bars, the man only served six months.

Source:  AL.com, "Harvey Updyke Jr. leaves Lee County jail without comment after completing sentence" Ed Enoch, Jun. 10, 2013

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