Al.com’s Ed Enoch today broke the news that on Sunday, Paul Finebaum spoke with then still-incarcerated Toomer’s Oaks poisoner Harvey Updyke, something no other member of the media will be able to do—at least legally—until 2018. Updyke’s probation prohibits him from speaking with the media for five years.
Even though the terms of Updyke’s probation did not kick in until his release from the Lee County jail Monday morning, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, through whom Finebaum had to arrange the meeting, told Enoch that the meeting wouldn’t have been allowed “if he (Finebaum) had been (media).”
However, there are few people in the state of Alabama to whom the designation of media member applies more than Paul Finebaum; Updyke was introduced to the world on Finebaum’s radio show. In the al.com story, Finebaum even hints that he will discuss the details of the meeting “at some point in the future,” and of course has already discussed some details with Enoch, who writes that Finebaum gave Updyke two “football magazines.”
How did Finebaum convince Jones that the meeting was purely personal in nature?
“Mr. Finebaum and Mr. Updyke had a brief conversation yesterday, and the conditions were that it was not in the capacity of anything to do with the media,” Jones told TWER this afternoon. “It was a personal conversation between two men, not an interview.
“There were no notebooks, no recording devices, and it was monitored to ensure that it did not go into any area that had anything to do with issues at the forefront of attention over the last couple of years,” Jones said. “It was simply a person-to-person conversation.”
Though it’s hard to believe that Finebaum won’t (naturally, understandably) weave the jailhouse access to Updyke into the narrative of his own role in the Toomer’s Oaks poisoning saga, Jones says he has no reason to believe Finebaum met with Updyke for ulterior, media-ish motives.
“Mr. Finebaum told us that it was not a media interview and not for the purpose of anything to do with the media. Unless he goes back on that, I take him at his word.”
More on Toomer’s Corner: Dozens of Toomer’s Oaks shoots sprouting in planter closest to Magnolia Ave. / Toomer’s Corner rollings didn’t start with Punt, Bama, Punt, says History / Did Auburn students celebrate Bear Bryant’s death by rolling Toomer’s Corner?
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