Judge Delays Decisions in Auburn Tree Poison Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- A judge has decided to delay several decisions in the case of a man accused of poisoning the Toomer's Corner oak trees at Auburn University.

Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jacob Walker III decided that requests by Harvey Updyke Jr.'s attorney for a change of venue, the reduction of the case's felony charges to misdemeanors and a determination of the trees' value should be decided at a later date.

Defense lawyer Everett W. Wess is also requesting that the judge recuse himself, citing possible ties to the school.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports that Walker said he would consult with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission about the recusal request.

The 63-year-old Updyke has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of felony criminal mischief and other charges.

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