Police haven't said how they figured out Al from Dadeville was Updyke. But Updyke has admitted to making the call, and they arrested him, and now he's charged with four felonies—he could get up to 10 years in prison for each—and two misdemeanors. A special agent from the Environmental Protection Agency also came to the hearing. The EPA is considering federal charges.
The court session was quick. Threatt waived the preliminary hearing and got permission for Updyke to relocate to Louisiana until the trial, now set to begin in late October. Threatt did all the talking at the news conference outside the courthouse.
About an hour later, Updyke ended up in the emergency room.
He said somebody whacked him in the face outside a convenience store when he stopped to buy a bottle of green tea. No one stepped forward as a witness. The staff said they didn't know anything had happened until the Opelika police showed up.
The next day Updyke went back on the Finebaum show, this time under his own name. Threatt was on the air with him. At one point Updyke walked right up to the edge of admitting that he poisoned the trees. Threatt interrupted him. "Let me make clear to listeners that you are not confessing on the Paul Finebaum show," he said. So all Updyke copped to is making the call. He called himself a "crap stirrer." He wished his friend Barnes a happy birthday, talked about his 40 Alabama hats, apologized to his old high school coach.
Finebaum started taking callers, and the callers ripped Threatt for letting Updyke on the air.
"I don't know what you do for a living," Threatt answered one caller. "I doubt I'd get on the radio and criticize your work. But I can say that my intention was for Harvey to be humanized."
A few weeks later, Threatt filed a plea for Updyke: not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Let me tell you the true story," Harvey Updyke says.
He was sitting there at the Iron Bowl, he says, watching Auburn rapidly fill in that 24--0 hole, when he started talking to a stranger next to him. "A kid, 30 years old at the oldest." The stranger said he was going to poison Toomer's Oaks with Spike. Harvey says he had never heard of Spike and had barely heard of the oaks.