Auburn locals react to Updyke's sentencing - WRBL

Auburn locals react to Updyke's sentencing

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AUBURN, Ala. -

The man accused of poisoning Auburn's Toomers oak trees has pled guilty to harming the trees. After months of court hearings, Harvey Updyke was sentenced to three years on Friday afternoon.

He will remain in prison for a total of six months. He has already served 104 days of that.

After that, he will be on probation for five years. Part of that means he will have a 7 PM curfew.

He cannot go to any college sporting events, and he is banned from Auburn University property.

People around auburn had mixed reactions about his sentencing.

"I'm not sure about jail time," said Auburn alumnus Shawn Ritenour. "I think it would be more just to force him to compensate for the loss of the trees somehow."

 "He only has 72 more days in jail," said Auburn graduate student Joshua Spencer. "I really that is a travesty considering they could have pressed for a much larger time. I feel like the crimes he committed over a football game, harming the environment and trees. He could have also damaged the water supply.

"I'm glad that he plead guilty and owns up to what he has done," said Auburn student Udarius Blair. "Not just to the fans of the university, but to the fans of the landscape of our university. That is one of our biggest accomplishments here at Auburn."

They all agreed that Toomers Corner is sacred for the Auburn family.

"The single most important place to celebrate Auburn victories has now of course been desecrated," said Ritenour. "I think it would be hard to put into words what it means."

In his ruling, Lee County's District Attorney Robbie Treese said: "Despite the destruction he has caused, no one is capable of diminishing the spirit of our community."

Dayne Young

Dayne is a sports anchor and reporter for WRBL. He started covering the Chattahoochee Valley in September 2012. More>>

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