Judge: No restitution cut in tree-poisoning case

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — A Lee County judge is refusing to reduce restitution payments for the University of Alabama fan who pleaded guilty to poisoning Auburn University’s oak trees at Toomer’s Corner.

Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III denied a request by Harvey Updyke, who says he can’t afford the $500-a-month restitution payments.

Prosecutors opposed Updyke’s request.

Updyke was ordered to pay $796,731 for poisoning the trees during Auburn’s national championship season in 2010. He served about six months in jail for the crime and now lives in Louisiana.

The retired Texas state trooper filed court documents stating his monthly income is $3,030 and claiming he could not afford the restitution payments.

Updyke’s legal expenses were funded by taxpayers after a court granted him status as being indigent.

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