Losing a friend, family member or significant other is an incredibly difficult thing to go through, one most people never get over. To help with the mourning process, many choose to visit the gravesite of their loved one, if that’s a possibility, often leaving flowers for them. That’s what one Alabama man did, but it got him arrested.
Winchester Hagans‘ fiancee, Hannah Ford, was tragically killed in a car accident in January of 2021. She was just 27 years old. To pay his respects to the woman he thought he’d be spending his life with, Hagans built a flower box and placed it by her grave in Auburn, Alabama. He decorated the box with their engagement photos and filled it with flowers, however, due to a strained relationship with some members of Hannah’s family, someone kept throwing out the flowers and the box.
Winchester would remake the box and then fill the new one with flowers, since none of Hannah’s family members ever told him to stop or to not visit her grave. However, a couple weeks ago, he was stopped by police and arrested because there was a warrant out for his arrest for criminal littering. Apparently, Hannah’s father filed a complaint against Winchester.
According to The Sun, it said, “Hayden Thomas Ford is the property owner of his daughter Hannah Ford’s cemetery plot located at Memorial Park in Auburn, Alabama. Approximately 7-8 flower boxes have been placed on Hannah’s gravesite without his permission. Winston Hagans has been advised not to place unauthorized items on Hannah’s grave. Winston has posted via social media ‘someone keeps throwing away the flowers I plant…but each time he throws them away, I’ll plant more.’ The flower box contains photos of Winston Hagans and Hannah Ford attached around the box.”
The charge of criminal littering is defined as “knowingly depositing, in any manner, litter on any public or private property or in any public or private waters, having no permission to do so.” And according to the Auburn Police Department, some burial plots are considered “owned and controlled by the family of the deceased and therefore are private property.”
Winchester has pleaded not guilty and will stand trial on March 17th. He still visits Hannah’s final resting spot, noting, “I just want to be able to put flowers on her grave.”