Harvey Updyke, the man charged with poisoning the trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner, has been appointed an attorney by the relevant court. That attorney, Philip O. Tyler, has already requested to be taken off the case, according to Montgomery’s WSFA 12. Tyler cited a conflict of interest, as he’s an Auburn part-time professor whose firm represents Auburn and who has many Auburn fans among his friends and family.
He’s also lived in Auburn for over two decades. Representing Updyke, even in a purely professional capacity, would not be well-received in Tyler’s hometown.
While I have no idea whether this case would ever need to go to jury trial (Kyle?), imagine trying to round up a jury for this case. You think you could find 12 impartial Alabamans who could objectively decide Updyke’s fate? They’re having a hard time finding just one person to argue the case in court.
Alabama justice is a tricky thing, especially when college football is involved.