Grieving Man Got Arrested For What He’d Been Doing By His Fiancee’s Grave


When a loved one dies, it is natural to grieve. One way that many people grieve is by doing things like attending the funeral and bringing flowers to the grave. Imagine having a loved one die and not being able to do either of those things. The grieving process would probably be that much harder.

Winston “Winchester” Hagans and Hannah Ford first met at a coffee shop in Montgomery, Alabama. They bonded over their faith. They were both religious and both had fathers who were pastors.  They ran into each other at the coffee shop so often that Winston used to bring cards with him so they could play a game of 9s while they were there.

Hannah’s father, Tom Ford, never approved of his daughter’s relationship with Winston. One time he even told them they needed to stop seeing each other for 30 days. They ignored this request, but they did comply with other requests Tom made. Winston told The Washington Post, “We jumped through all of his hoops to be together. We had to figure out if going through the craziness was worth it. She told me, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t just stop. You had every reason to stop. Why didn’t you just move on?’ And I was like, ‘You’re worth it; you’re an amazing person.’ ”

In December 2020, Winston proposed, and Hannah said yes. They were both very excited about getting married and started looking at potential venues together.

In January 2021, they looked at one venue, and then each left to go home. Winston remembers Hannah kissing him goodbye on the cheek and saying, “I love you so much. I hate leaving you. I just can’t wait until we don’t have to be apart.”

On her way home, Hannah was in a fatal car accident. The driver of one vehicle lost control of the vehicle and hit another car which hit Hannah’s car.

Winston was worried when he didn’t hear from Hannah. He called her roommate who told him she didn’t come home, so he got in his car and drove towards her house. Less than a mile from her home, Winston came upon the accident. He asked the police if anyone involved in the crash matched Hannah’s description. That’s when he saw her crushed car.

Winston was devastated at the loss of his fiancee, and he was even more devastated when her father told him he couldn’t attend the funeral.

Despite not being able to attend the funeral, Winston decided that he would create a special planter box to put on Hannah’s grave. He explained that she didn’t like cut flowers, so he wanted to plant flowers. He also added pictures of the two of them to the box.

When Tom saw the planter box, he told the Opelika-Auburn News, “I picked it up and it fell apart.” Winston replaced it with another planter box, and each time Tom removed a planter box, Winston added a new one to honor his late fiancee.

Then one day Winston was pulled over by the police. He was told that there was a warrant for his arrest for littering. Tom had complained that Winston was breaking the cemetery’s rules by putting the planter boxes on his daughter’s grave, and Tom ended up being found guilty and was required to pay a $300 fine. He was also sentenced to 30 days in jail, but that jail sentence is suspended unless he places another planter box on his fiancee’s grave.