Harvey Updyke, the man who is accused of poisoning the iconic oak trees on the campus of Auburn University, took a deal Friday afternoon and agreed to plead guilty.
Lee County District Attorney Robbie Treese announced the deal, saying Updyke withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to Criminal Damage to an Agriculture Facility, a class C felony.
Updyke was sentenced to three years and remains incarcerated until he finishes serving at least six months.
After being released, Updyke will be under supervised probation for a five year period.
As part of the plea deal, Updyke's probation will require him to abide by a 7 p.m. curfew, and he is forbidden to attend any collegiate athletic event. He is also banned from entering any property owned by Auburn University.
Updyke is also ordered not to speak with any member of the media.
Restitution costs have not yet been determined, DA Treese said. But he added that whatever the cost is to Updyke, it will be doubled under the Alabama Farm Animal, Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act.
"We have a significant number of violent felonies awaiting trial in Lee County," DA Treese said, "and I could not in good conscience justify financing a three week trial merely to arrive at no better a resolution."
Reese said the trial, which was to be held in Elmore County, would have forced the state to pay for transportation and lodging for as many as 50 witnesses, not including the fees that would have been required by experts.
Harvey Updyke, a die-hard fan of the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide, caught the attention of the nation after he called into a popular sports talk show months after the 2010 Iron Bowl win by the Auburn Tigers.
Updyke, who went by the alias "Al from Dadeville" claimed to have poisoned the oaks with a herbicide known as Spike 80DF as a way of getting back at the Tigers for disrespecting his team.
Officials with the University's Agriculture Department immediately began testing the soil around the trees and confirmed the presence of the chemical. Unsuccessful efforts were made to save the trees, which are considered a symbol of the University. The last time the trees will be rolled will be during the Auburn Tigers' A-Day game on April 20. They'll then be removed pending a permanent replacement.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-03-12 00:26:17 GMT
Residents of the quiet town of Excelsior Springs are on edge Tuesday after a woman was brutally attacked inside her home Monday.More >
An Excelsior Springs woman fought off a brutal attack and took actions that allowed a passing motorist to come to her aid. Neighbors say police searched the home of a middle schooler in connection with the attack. More >
Monday, March 10 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-03-11 00:05:11 GMT
A fiery single-car crash claimed the lives of four people from Sedalia.The Missouri Highway Patrol said the wreck happened about 6:30 a.m. Sunday on Route B south of Sacajawea Road.Troopers said a 2007More >
A fiery single-car crash claimed the lives of four people from Sedalia. Grief-stricken family members have placed four crosses in their memory at the crash site. More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:21 PM EDT2014-03-11 23:21:08 GMT
Authorities are investigating after a man's body was found in trash pile at recycling facility on the city's east side.More >
It was a terrible and incredible discovery Tuesday after a man's body was found in a pile of trash. The body was found early in the morning at the recycling center near Winchester Avenue and Raytown Road.More >
Prosecutors are expected to present evidence in the capital murder case against a 28-year-old man accused of killing three adults and a child at an eastern Kansas farm.More >
Nearly 8 hours of testimony was heard Tuesday about the events that led to Kyle Flack being accused of killing four people, including an 18-month-old girl whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase tossed into a creek.