LACEY’S SPRING — A Lacey’s Spring man has been charged with manslaughter after his ex-wife was found dead on what would have been their wedding anniversary.
Rodney David Hagood, 46, remained in Morgan County Jail today with bail set at $200,000.
Chief Deputy Mike Corley said charges could be upgraded and the investigation is continuing.
Hagood turned himself in to authorities Thursday at Jack’s fast-food restaurant on Sixth Avenue Northeast in Decatur, Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said, ending a search that extended as far as Florence.
The body of Stacey Hagood, 49, was discovered in her home by her adult daughter shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday.
Franklin said Stacey Hagood’s daughter last saw her mother alive about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, arguing with Rodney Hagood.
Franklin said the Hagoods were divorced but lived together in the house at 496 River Loop Road. They stayed together about 20 years after the divorce, the sheriff said. They were married on Valentine’s Day.
“It appears to be a long, ongoing situation of domestic violence,” Franklin said.
The sheriff did not disclose the manner of Stacey Hagood’s death.
Neighbors said the Hagoods fought often.
“I’ve heard them in the backyard multiple times, fighting like cats and dogs,” said next-door-neighbor J.D. Atchley.
Stacy Youngblood, another neighbor, said deputies had arrested Rodney Hagood previously for domestic violence. She said he had a “high temper” and a jealous streak.
Stacey Hagood repeatedly bailed her ex-husband out of jail, Youngblood said,
“I didn’t even know he was back out of jail yet” after his last arrest, Youngblood said, gazing across the road at the red-roofed, single-story home surrounded by crime scene tape. “They should have kept him longer — he’s been arrested so many times.”
Franklin said Stacey Hagood either sought or obtained a protection from abuse order against Rodney Hagood at some point but did not follow through with it.
“When we would arrest him, she wouldn’t show up to court,” Franklin said.
The mother of two typed transcripts for a medical practice in Huntsville, a friend said.
“She was quiet. Easygoing. Never bothered anybody,” said Mike Dupree of Lacey’s Spring.
“Whenever she needed a laugh, she would call me, and both of us would get off the phone in a better mood,” Dupree said.
Neighbor Roger Bright said he met Stacey Hagood when they both attended nearby Bethlehem Baptist Church.
“I’ve known her a long time. She’s a good person,” he said.
Bright said he overheard the Hagoods “fussing” Wednesday night.
J.D. Atchley said he stayed up late but didn’t hear or see anything during the night. He said he woke up early but didn’t notice any commotion next door until Hagood’s daughter went into the house.
“She came out and was just screaming and hit the ground out there,” Atchley said.
Franklin said Rodney Hagood wasn’t at the house when deputies arrived and didn’t show up for work at his construction job Thursday.
In the afternoon, authorities found his white Ford Explorer abandoned in Florence. After leaving the sport utility vehicle, Hagood traveled in a silver car driven by a woman, Franklin said.
Stacey Hagood’s body was taken to the Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville for an autopsy.
Seth Burkett can be reached at 256-340-2446 or email@example.com.
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