Harvey Updyke, who poisoned iconic oak trees at Auburn, dies at 71

Harvey Updyke left departs the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika Ala. with his bail bondsman and his attorney. The state's football fervor drew plenty of attention after the 2010 Iron Bowl when Updyke

Updyke's family confirmed his death to Al.com Thursday night.

xHarvey Updyke, whose act of vandalism highlighted the absurd levels to which some college football fans take rivalries, has died.

In 2011, the elder Updyke, a die-hard 'Bama football fan, became well-known in Alabama sports circles after he called into Paul Finebaum's radio show alleging he'd poisoned the Toomer's Corner trees at the university in Auburn - about 55 miles northwest of Montgomery - after the Tigers won the Iron Bowl in November 2010.

Updyke, a former Texas state trooper, became a household name within Alabama in 2011 when he called into the Paul Finebaum radio show on January 27 that year and claimed to be responsible for poisoning the oaks at Toomer's Corner, where Auburn fans historically celebrate big wins by rolling the trees with toilet paper.

Updyke used a potent herbicide known as Spike 80DF to poison the trees.


Harvey Updyke leaves jail after posting bail in 2013.

He was sentenced to serve at least six months of a three-year sentence for criminal damage to an agricultural facility, the Lee County District Attorney said at the time. In addition to this, he was put under supervised probation for five years. Last year, he told CBS News' Mo Rocca he poisoned the trees because "I wanted Auburn people to hate me as much as I hate them".

Updyke had a hard time paying that restitution.

After his arrest, Updyke pleaded guilty via a plea deal to poisoning the two trees in 2013 and spent time in jail and was given probation in addition to being ordered to pay almost $800,000 in restitution for the damage he did.

According to AL.com, Updyke has so far paid $8,143 of the $800,000 fine levied on him.

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