Judge moves trial of ‘Bama fan in Auburn tree case

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — 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.

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.

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