As jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of an Alabama fan accused of poisoning two oak trees at Auburn's famed Toomer's Corner, lawyers wanted to know about the favorite schools of potential jurors.
Eighty-five prospective jurors filled Judge Jacob Walker's courtroom a few miles from Auburn's campus. Among the questions submitted by Updyke's attorneys: whether potential jurors would "make a decision based upon the defendant being a University of Alabama sports fan."
When the judge asked if they had read or seen reports about the case, all but one of the potential jurors signaled yes. Seven indicated they worked for Auburn University and three said their spouses did.
Defense attorney Everett Wess said selection might continue until late in the week.
Updyke is accused of poisoning the trees after Auburn beat Alabama during the Tigers' 2010 national title season. The 63-year-old has pleaded not guilty on charges that include criminal mischief and desecrating a venerable object.