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Man arrested for 'criminal littering' after leaving flowers on fiancée's grave

By NICK GARCIA Published Feb 11, 2022 7:09 pm Updated Feb 11, 2022 7:19 pm

Who would've thought that placing flowers on somebody's grave can be a crime? That's what just happened to a man in Auburn in Alabama after paying respects to his late fiancée.

Local television station WTVM reported that Winchester Hagans was arrested for committing "criminal littering."

“I just want to be able to put flowers by my fiancée's grave,” WTVM quoted Hagans as saying.

Winchester Hagans and his late fiancée, Hannah Ford. Photo from his Facebook profile.

Hagans lost Hannah Ford in a car crash in January 2021, just a month after his proposal.

He said Ford preferred living flowers to those prepared by a florist. That's why he made a planter box, which has her favorite flowers and their photos, and left it on her grave.

The planter box that Hagans made in memory of his fiancée. Photo from his Facebook profile.

“Even though she is gone, I promised her I would never bring her cut flowers again," Hagans said. "She was the love of my life, the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with."

But alas, his sweet gesture to honor her memory is, apparently, a violation of the laws.

To make things worse, the one responsible for the charges against Hagans? It's none other than his very own father-in-law, Tom Ford.

Hagans said his father-in-law signed the arrest warrant, and didn't even reach out to him before doing so.

The city of Auburn allows outside markers, provided that it meets the city requirements. Its website states that "settees, urns, boxes, shells, toys and other similar items may not be placed or maintained on any lot or grave."

While Hagans's planter box "technically" violated rules, the city noted that it rarely imposes them unless the family of the deceased raises an issue.

Local media sought Mr. Ford's comment but has not responded.