Harvey Updyke’s psychiatric testing could take up to several years—if it ever begins, that is.
Updyke volunteered for evaluation at the Taylor-Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa, a hospital 2.9 miles away from Bryant-Denny Stadium, last week at his most recent hearing, but is still being held in the Lee County jail.
“The inpatient forensic evaluation is a much more extensive process, and can take anywhere from one month to several years, depending on the situation,” Shackelford said in an email exchange.
Updyke has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to charges that include criminal mischief and desecrating a venerable object. His trial was supposed to begin this week, but the case has been delayed indefinitely.
The mental health agency declined comment on Updyke, 63, citing confidentiality rules. But Updyke would join a list of people awaiting evaluations at Taylor Hardin should the judge order him sent there.
“It is difficult to determine how long the waiting list will take, but the client at the top of our list has been waiting for 99 days,” said Shackelford.
According to the report, if Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III does indeed order testing for Updyke, “it could be February or later before officials decide whether Updyke is mentally competent” based on the waiting list.
In addition to being charged with poisoning the Toomer’s Oaks, Updyke was arrested earlier this month on charges that he terrorized a Lowe’s in Louisiana while trying to return a lawnmower.
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