Harvey Updyke will have a preliminary hearing in the Toomer’s Corner tree poisoning case on March 2 in Lee County District Court, according to court papers filed Tuesday, a day in which yet a new defensive attorney was assigned to the case.
Updyke’s first two attorneys filed motions to be removed from the case, citing a conflict of interest with Auburn University.
Updyke’s new attorney is Jerry M. Blevins of Montgomery, according to court papers.
Updyke was arrested March 17 for criminal mischief. Police believe Updyke poisoned the trees at Auburn in the fall after the Tigers beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl. The poisoning focused attention on the Auburn-Alabama rivalry because Updyke is an Alabama fan.
Updyke is free on $50,000 bond.
His second attorney, Jerry W. Hauser, filed a motion Tuesday morning to withdraw as Updyke’s court-appointed attorney, citing a conflict of interest. His wife, Dr. Margaret E. Fitch-Hauser, is the head of the Department of Communications and Journalism at Auburn.
Updyke’s first court-appointed attorney, Philip Tyler, was removed after he filed a motion to withdraw, also citing a conflict of interest.