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Judge Ends Updyke Trial

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Harvey Updyke, the self confessed poisoner of Auburn's Toomer Oak Trees had his case ended by Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker.
Harvey Updyke, the self confessed poisoner of Auburn's Toomer Oak Trees had his case ended by Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker.

It looks like the Harvey Updyke trial may not take place after all. Judge Jacob Walker ended the trial today saying the jury pool was too tainted.

His action was taken due to an article appearing in the Auburn Plainsman reporting that Updyke had confessed to Plainsman reporter Andrew Yawn.

Updyke, accused of poisoning Auburn's Toomer's Corner oak trees apparently benefited from the confession he made to Yawn. The judge said the story about Updyke's confession, "created more news and media attention about the case than there already was."

Judge Walker asked members of the jury pool if they had heard anything about the recent Plainsman article. When 10 potential jurors admitted they had, the judge ended the trial.

When Judge Walker issued his continuance, he indicated he might consider ordering a change of venue at a later date. However, Walker said he doesn't believe there is any place in the state of Alabama where citizens haven't been saturated with the news of the case.

So, that begs the question, will Harvey Updyke go unpunished? Will this sad episode just fade away? I suspect today's happenings just set the stage for a plea down bargain.

Could Harvey have been smart enough to plan this potential scenario with his pre-trial confession?

Nah, not Harvey. Not the guy who also originally confessed publicly on a nationally syndicated radio show.