Toomer’s Corner tree poisoner fails to show in court, judge may jail him

Harvey Updyke and his wife walk in the Lee County Courthouse

AUBURN, Ala. – A Lee County judge is unhappy that Harvey Updyke, who pleaded guilty to poisoning the Oak Tree’s at Toomer’s Corner in February of 2011, didn’t show up to court today for a restitution hearing.

The court acknowledged that Updyke has been paying court-ordered restitution, but hasn’t provided the court with his monthly budget, financial hardship information and medical condition. The court wants Updyke to provide that information — required by an October order —  immediately.

While Updyke didn’t appear, his attorney did. Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker said he will hold a hearing March 1. At that hearing Updyke will have to explain to the court while he failed to appear Tuesday.

The judge’s order said Updyke could be put in jail March 1 for contempt of court, if he fails to show good cause on why he missed the hearing.

Read the judge’s order: updyke-court-order