UPDATE: Exhumation has begun this morning as the body of Patsy Davis is removed from her burial place in the front yard of her North Alabama home.

EARLIER STORY:

After a four-year legal battle, a north Alabama man says he will abide by a court order to remove his wife's body from his front yard.

James Davis promised Jackson County Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt during a hearing he would comply with an order she issued last year.

Davis previously vowed to never remove the remains of his wife, Patsy Davis, who has been buried near the front porch of their log home in the city of Stevenson since shortly after her death in April 2009.

He had said he was keeping a promise to his wife by burying her there, and he maintained the city shouldn't be able to force him to remove the grave from his longtime residence.

Davis said he will hire a contractor to remove the body on Friday and will then have it cremated.

Davis also said he dropped plans to declare his house a church so he could keep the grave.