OPELIKA, Alabama — Lawyers representing Harvey Updyke Jr., the Alabama fan who poisoned the Toomer's Oaks at Auburn University, are objecting to the amount of restitution prosecutors want him to pay.
The attorneys say in court records that the state's preferred restitution of $1.04 million is excessive and would result in "unjust enrichment" for Auburn University.
The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/1bwU6JE ) that the figure is double the amount of the anticipated final cost of treatment and removal of the trees and renovation of the corner, among other expenses. The amount is based on a doubling of the costs incurred under a state law that requires anyone convicted of such an offense to pay twice the reasonable costs of replacing materials.
The defense lawyers are requesting a hearing on the matter.
Auburn is planning to sell framed memorabilia featuring twigs, leaves and other parts of the oak trees, jewelry, and other items.
Updyke's lawyers are requesting information about any donations the university received related to Toomer's Oaks and any predicted revenue the university will make through the sale of Toomer's Oaks memorabilia. They're also seeking records related to damage to the trees and costs associated with it.
Updyke, 64, was freed from jail this month after serving 76 days for poisoning the trees after the 2010 Iron Bowl. He intended to return to Louisiana and never wants to be heard from again, his attorney Andrew Stanley said this month.
Updyke had pleaded guilty in March to one count of unlawful damage of an animal or crop facility. He was sentenced to 6 months in jail and credited with 104 days for time already served.
Updyke was arrested after a man calling himself "Al from Dadeville" — Updyke's middle name is Almorn — phoned Paul Finebaum's radio show claiming he poured herbicide around the 130-year-old oaks after Auburn's win over rival Alabama during the Tigers' 2010 national championship season. The caller signed off by saying, "Roll Damn Tide."
Information from: Opelika-Auburn News, http://www.oanow.com/