Judge moves trial of Auburn tree poisoning case

A judge is moving the trial of a University of Alabama fan charged with poisoning the Toomer’s Corner oak trees at Auburn University.

A circuit judge issued an order Wednesday transferring Harvey Updyke’s trial from Opelika to Wetumpka, located in Elmore County near Montgomery.

The change came after prosecutors dropped their opposition to a request by Updyke’s lawyers. The defense cited the difficulty of getting a fair trial near Auburn.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports the trial is still set to begin April 8.

Updyke has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to charges of poisoning the trees during Auburn’s run to the national championship in the 2010 football season.

The trees are all but dead, and the university plans to replace them soon.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

This article was originally posted on ESPN.com

About Cliff Freeman

Cliff has been covering College Football since 2003 and has traveled to nearly every championship game in the past decade. He has extensive experience covering the Southeastern Conference as well as the other BCS conferences. His wealth of knowledge and ability to quickly report on the top stories in the sport make him a valuable asset to the AST Team.