Attorney: German man reaches plea deal in Toomer’s Corner tree fire

On the left, the Toomer's Oak one day after the fire. On the right, the tree up in flames following Auburn's win over LSU. (Courtesy: Auburn Football on Facebook)

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) – A court document shows a German man has reached a deal with Alabama prosecutors and wants to plead guilty to setting fire to a landmark oak tree at Auburn University.

An attorney for 29-year-old Jochen Wiest filed a document in Lee County Circuit Court on Wednesday saying her client has reached an agreement with authorities.

29-year-old Jochen Wiest
29-year-old Jochen Wiest

The lawyer, Margaret Brown, is asking a judge to set a hearing for Wiest to plead guilty.

The judge didn’t immediately set a hearing date. But he refused to return Wiest’s passport so he could return home to Germany.

Wiest is accused of setting fire to toilet paper that covered one of the Toomer’s oaks after the Auburn-Louisiana State University football game. He’s charged with criminal mischief; desecrating a venerable object and public intoxication.

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