RIDGEVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Bond was set at $50,000 for a former sheriff's deputy accused of beating and shooting at his wife.
Authorities charged 42-year-old Kenneth R. Winnigham with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature after he surrendered to the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office on Friday.
Authorities say Winningham was wanted in connection to assaulting and shooting at his 23-year-old wife at their home in Dorchester County.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said on Friday,"Based on the investigation of an off-duty incident involving Kenneth Winningham by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, as of May 3, Winningham is no longer an employee of this agency and we have retrieved all county-owned equipment from his residence."
Deputies were on patrol in the area of Carters' Fast Stop on Highway 78 early Wednesday morning when they were flagged down by a man. The man then requested investigators speak with a woman who appeared to be upset and was being consoled by family members.
Investigators say the woman had injuries including bruising and complained of tenderness to her side, knee, arms and face.
The woman told deputies that she wanted to file a report regarding a physical domestic altercation that happened on Wednesday at her home on Winningham Road. The victim said that the incident involved her husband, Kenneth Roy Winningham, who she said was a deputy with the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.
According to the victim, her husband began punching her body while she was sleeping in her bed around 12:30 a.m. The victim said an argument followed where her husband said he had looked through her cell phone and saw text messages to another man.
The victim said her husband struck her several times with closed fists to her arms and left side. She told deputies that she also fell to the floor where the suspect kicked her several times.
An incident report states that the suspect took out a .45 caliber gun, made threats to the victim and hit her twice on the knee using the loaded gun.
According to deputies, the victim was seated on the edge of the bed when the suspect shot two rounds within close proximity of her. The victim told deputies that one round was discharged into the bed, a short distance from where she sat. She said she was unsure where the second round went.
Deputies say the suspect then forced her accompany him to a store and prevented her from leaving. She said she was unable to contact 911 immediately because the suspect took her cell phone.
The victim said that the suspect made several threats to harm her and told her he was going to "slit her throat causing her to bleed out" and threatened to shoot her feet to disable her.
The victim gave a written statement to officers and was escorted to the Hess Gas station in Jedburg after she consented to a search of the home. She was then left at the station with a detective for her own safety as officers went to the house.
Investigators were provided a key to the home after officers found the home locked with no one answering the door.
Detectives then went into the home and recovered a .45 caliber bullet casing from the floor beside the bed. Fragments from a small caliber weapon were also found in the bed's spring box.
Officers say they also found what appeared to be a bullet hole in the mattress.
The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office was contacted regarding the case and took possession of equipment at the home belonging to their department.