AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – The man arrested for putting flowers on his fiancée’s grave in Auburn is slated to be in court Thursday afternoon for trial in front of a Municipal Judge. News 3 will be there and bring you the latest information. Cameras are not allowed inside the courtroom. 

Hannah Ford was killed in a car crash the same day she picked out a wedding venue with her soon-to-be husband, Winchester Hagans.

On January 17th, 2021, the couple visited their future wedding venue in Notasulga, Alabama. Hagans remembers Hannah kissing him goodbye as she prepared to drive home to Montgomery.

“The last things I heard her say were, I love you, and I hate leaving you,” said Hagans.

Hannah was killed shortly after in a three-vehicle car crash. She had just turned 27-years-old.

Hagans built a flower box covered with engagement pictures to place at Hannah’s grave at Auburn’s Memorial Park Cemetery. Hagans says the couple had a strained relationship with some members of Hannah’s family, and someone kept throwing the flowers away. Hagans kept rebuilding the box and putting the flowers back. Hagans says Hannah’s family never told him directly to stay away from his fiancee’s grave and stop leaving flowers.

Winchester and Hannah

Sunday, January 24th, Hagans was on his way to preach at an east Alabama church when police pulled him over for an expired tag.  After running his tag, the officer came back and said there was a warrant out for Hagans’ arrest.

Hanna’s father, Hayden Ford, had signed a warrant for Hagan’s arrest for criminal littering. The complaint, dated January 4th, reads: A person commits the crime of criminal littering if he or she engages in any of the following acts: (1) Knowingly deposits in any manner litter on any public or private property or in any public or private waters, having no permission to do so. 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.

Complaint

Auburn police released the following statement after Hagans’ arrest: “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 24th, 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.”

Hagans’ attorney Jeff Tickal tells News 3 Hagans has pled not guilty to the charge.

Flowers and flower box Winchester made for Hannah’s grave

“Rick Hagans and his family are long-time friends, and I am happy to represent Winchester in this case. Winchester is a great young man, and we are looking forward to telling his side of the story and reversing this travesty brought against him,” said Tickal. 

As for Hagans, he still visits Hannah’s grave often and prays better days are ahead for all who loved her. When asked what he would say to Hannah’s father, Hagans said, “I just want to be able to put flowers on her grave.”

News 3 did reach out to Hayden Ford, Hannah’s father. But, unfortunately, we have not heard back from him.

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