ANNISTON, AL (WBRC) - Friends and family are mourning the loss of an 89-year-old Anniston woman who was stabbed to death inside her own home.
People who knew Alma Fleming say it would take hours to describe the good works and loving spirit she had cultivated in her 89 years of life.
In the Biblical book of Proverbs, Chapter 31, it speaks of a woman with character and integrity. A woman who loves her husband and is dedicated family and God. A woman like Alma Fleming.
"She kept her hands busy. She endeavored to always be loving to her neighbors. I can say I have seen someone that exemplifies the scripture in many ways," Pastor Ted Cogburn said.
Cogburn remembers first meeting the elder parishioner when he came to pastor The Church of God two years ago. Fleming immediately invited his family to a home cooked meal.
Over the years, he continuously saw her give to others in need, serve at the church and love those many would turn away from.
"We just fell in love with that little lady," Cogburn said.
When Kelley Ledbetter moved in across the street from Alma Fleming, it didn't take her long to realize Fleming's age, 89, was just a number.
"She gets around better than I do. And I'm only 39. And I told her that," Ledbetter said.
Fleming would often paint her rental properties when tenants moved out, picked up leaves from her front yard, and diligently tended her garden.
Even when people began stealing from it, her love shone through.
"She said, but I'd give it to them if they're hungry. I'd give it to them. And she would. She'd give you anything you need," Ledbetter said.
And that is why it's so hard to grasp why anyone would want to harm her.
Wednesday morning, Fleming's son went to her house on Stebbins Street to spruce it up for her 90th birthday party. When he walked in, he found his mother dead of multiple stab wounds.
Police quickly arrested Walter Pinkston and Monica Shively on capital murder charges. Authorities say the couple did yard work and other odd jobs for Fleming
Pastor Cogburn says Fleming's loving spirit caused her to see only the good in people, to trust those she may not have, a trait that may have led to her own death,
"I am hurt in my heart," pastor Cogburn said. "but my feeling is I'd rather leave this world loving my neighbor than I had to leave this world hating my fellow man."
"But in the sight of man, Mrs. Fleming will live on and in the heart of God I believe she found a tender place and filled it well while she was here."