Bond revoked for Harvey Updyke

Drew Taylor
 | Opelika-Auburn News

In Wednesday’s hearing for Harvey Updyke Jr., who is accused of poisoning the Toomer’s Oaks, Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III revoked Updyke’s bond due to an outstanding writ of arrest in Louisiana.

At the beginning of the hearing, Kisha Abercrombie, assistant district attorney, asked for Updyke’s bond to be revoked, citing how he had been arrested in Hammond, Louisiana in September for an altercation he had with a Lowe’s employee regarding a lawn mower he had returned and that the arrest was a violation of his bond. However, Updyke’s attorney, Margaret Brown, maintained that there was no stipulation that there was a proper arrest and that the arresting officer had claimed Updyke said things that he had never said. Updyke was charged with simple assault in the case, although he was initially charged with making terrorist threats. According to Abercrombie, he failed to appear in court on the charge on Nov. 15.

Because of the revocation, Updyke will remain at the Lee County Detention Facility until his trial starts on April 8 or until a motion for his release is granted. Updyke is charge with two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, two counts of desecrating a venerated object and two counts of unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility.

During the hearing, Updyke’s defense also requested more information on Dr. Michael Welner, an expert the state plans on calling on for the trial, as well as a list of cases that he has testified in, but the state contended that it wasn’t necessary and that they were not sure if they would be able to call on him for the trial, pending that Updyke’s mental health records come back on time from Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa.

In addition, the defense also motioned to have the venue of the trial changed, citing that anyone receiving any type of benefit from Auburn University should be excused from jury selection. However, the state contended that connections to the university didn’t have any bearing for actual prejudice and pushed to continue to hold the trial in Lee County.

Circuit Judge A. Walker III said he would be inclined to grant a motion from the defense regarding court funds to acquire an expert to analyze the jury pool, although it was neither granted nor denied during the hearing. It is estimated there were over 80 jurors in the pool during the June 2012 hearing. Walker said he wasn’t sure if a professional was necessary, but that a paralegal would possibly suffice.

No other motions were granted or denied during the hearing, except to confirm that a status hearing is set for March 15 at 11 a.m., where a motion for change of venue will be brought up again.

Follow Drew Taylor on Twitter @mrdrew_taylor
Bond revoked for Harvey Updyke

About Aaron Law Firm

Aaron Law Firm handles criminal cases in city, state and federal courts in the state of Alabama. If you are accused of a crime it has to be taken seriously, even accusation of a crime can have serious effect on many different areas of your life. If it is a DUI or something more serious it has to be taken as a threat to your freedom. After you have been accused of a crime, you should always consult a lawyer before talking to the authorities . Seek immediate legal counsel and make sure your rights are protected.

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