An Alabama man was arrested in January for putting flowers on his fiancée’s grave and it was the man who was to be his father-in-law who called police on him, according to reports.
Winston “Winchester” Hagans, 31, was arrested after he placed flowers on the grave of his 27-year-old fiancée, Hannah Ford, who died in a car accident in January 2021, Irish Central reported.
She passed away just a month after the couple got engaged, according to the Washington Post.
Hagans told WTVM that after Hannah died, he put a flower box next to her grave so living flowers could grow as she did not care for cut flowers.
“Even though she is gone I promised her I would never bring her cut flowers again. She was the love of my life, the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,” he told WTVM.
He told WTVM that he spoke with the city to ask if he was able to place his flower box by her grave.
“The people of the city told me they don’t enforce [removing a flower box] unless a family member asked for it to be removed,” Hagans said.
In July 2021, he posted an image of a flower box on Instagram. On the box were photos of Hannah and the couple. In the post, Hagans said that for the fourth time since her passing, someone had “trashed” the box, but vowed to continue planting flowers.
“This is the 4th time I’ve put a flower box on her grave and someone she knew keeps trashing them. Someone keeps throwing away the flowers I plant…but each time he throws them away I’ll plant more,” he wrote.
Then in January, he was arrested for criminal littering.
“The officer came over and said, ‘Hey, Mr. Hagans, can you step out of the car, there is a warrant for your arrest.’ I said, ‘No, that’s impossible, there’s no way,'” Hagans told Local 12.
Hannah’s father, Hayden Thomas Ford, signed the warrant for his arrest, according to WRBL, which obtained the warrant.
Hagans has told the media he was never contacted by him before he was arrested.
The Auburn Police Department did not respond to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.
In a statement to WRBL, Auburn Police said: “In Alabama, certain burial plots are owned and controlled by the family of the deceased and therefore are private property. Any citizen has a right to pursue a criminal charge upon showing sufficient probable cause exists to believe a crime has been committed. The individual charged in this case turned himself in to the Auburn Police Department on January 24, 2022, after a warrant was signed by another citizen. In this situation, as is often the case, the police department is simply a process server that allows parties in conflict to be before the court. The facts of the case will be presented by both parties and weighed in Court.”
Hayden Thomas Ford did not respond to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.
Hagans is due in court next month. There, he is expected to enter a plea. It is unclear if he has retained council. Hagans did not respond to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.
Hagans took to Instagram on Tuesday to release a statement on the matter and thanked friends and family for their support.
“The past few weeks have been hard, hell, the past year and a month have been the hardest of my life. Yet, I have been encouraged by some of the people closest to me, some old friends, and some people I have never met from places I’ve never been,” he wrote.