Testing planned for Updyke could be lengthy

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OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Officials say psychiatric testing like the evaluations planned for a University of Alabama fan charged with poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees can last from a few hours to years.

Harvey Updyke surrendered for psychiatric testing last week in Opelika, and he remained in the Lee County jail Tuesday morning.

The state mental health agency says tests most often are conducted in county jails, where the process can last from hours to a few days.

The department says evaluations can last from a month to years if a person is taken to a state mental facility for screening.

The agency declined comment on Updyke specificially, citing confidentiality rules.

Updyke was set for trial this week on charges including desecration of a venerated object, but the case is on hold indefinitely.



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