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AUBURN, Ala. – A trial date has been set for an Alabama man who was arrested last month after he put flowers at his fiancee’s grave.

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Winston “Winchester” Hagans, 31, will appear in Auburn Municipal Court on March 17 to face charges of misdemeanor criminal littering, WTVM-TV reported. The complaint was signed by the Rev. Tom Ford, the father of his late fiancee who had a strained relationship with the couple, according to

“I wish it was a story I was reading, not living,’’ Hagans, a student studying education and theology, told the website.

According to Alabama state law, the minimum fine for a first-time criminal littering conviction is $500.

Hagans’ fiancee, Hannah Leigh Ford, was killed in a three-car crash in Montgomery, Alabama, on Jan. 17, 2021, three days after her 27th birthday, according to her obituary.

“She was the most beautiful, loving, sweet and amazing, full of life person I had ever met,” Hagans told WRBL-TV.

Hagans and Hannah Ford met in September 2019 at a coffee shop in Montgomery.

“We ended up talking for a good long while and kept hanging out,’’ Hagans told “That happened for a few weeks.”

The couple got engaged on Dec. 5, 2020, according to

On the day Hannah Ford died, the couple visited their future wedding site in Notasulga, Alabama. They were expecting to get married there on May 1, 2021, The Washington Post reported.

Hannah Ford’s automobile crash happened about a mile from her home. Hagans said her family made it clear that he was not welcome at her funeral, according to the newspaper. However, Hagans was mentioned in Hannah Ford’s obituary.

After she died, Hagans built Hannah Ford a planter box with flowers and photographs of the couple at her grave at Memorial Park Cemetery in Auburn, Alabama, WSB-TV reported. Hagans said his fiancee hated cut flowers, the television station reported.

The box was inscribed with the lyrics from “Of Crows and Crowns” by Dustin Kensrue, reported. Hagans said the planter kept getting removed, but he replaced it every time.

“You don’t stop loving someone when they’re gone,’’ Hagans told “Love is forever.”

Hagans said Hannah Ford’s family never told him directly to stay away from his fiancee’s grave or stop leaving flowers, WRBL reported.

Hagans’ legal problems occurred when he was pulled over on Jan. 24, 2022, as he was driving to preach at Purpose Baptist Church in the Auburn-Opelika area, according to

That was when he learned he had an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor criminal littering.

Hagan told the Post that city officials assured him that he could put the flowers at his fiancee’s gravesite unless there was a complaint.

While he was arrested and handcuffed, Hagans learned that Tom Ford had signed the warrant.

“The police don’t enforce the law unless the owner of the plot tries to do something about it,” Hagans told the newspaper.

A copy of the arrest warrant obtained by the Post shows Ford as the person who signed the document.

“Any citizen has the right to pursue a criminal charge against another upon showing that sufficient probable cause exists to believe that a crime has been committed,” David Dorton, a spokesperson for the city of Auburn, said in a statement to the Post. “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.”

Tom Ford did not immediately respond to requests for comment, according to the newspaper. Hagans said he still has not spoken with Tom Ford about the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

“In the graveyard where my darling is, there are dozens of other planters and plants. This is crazy,” Hagans told the Post. “I just want to be able to put that flower box on my fiancee’s grave.”