CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff's Office says additional murder charges will be filed against the suspect in Tuesday's fatal shooting in Ravenel.
That word came shortly after Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten confirmed one of the victims of Tuesday's shooting inside a Ravenel mobile home was pregnant with twins old enough to be considered "viable" by state law.
She also said autopsies on the three as well as Alexis Mungin's twins had been completed as of Thursday.
The coroner's office identified the victims of the Tuesday afternoon shooting as Betty Mungin, 55; Alexis Mungin, 29; and Armani Mungin, eight years old.
Betty and Armani Mungin died of gunshot wounds to the head while Alexis Mungin died of a gunshot wound to the chest, Wooten said.
Alexis Mungin was just more than 25 weeks pregnant at the time of her death, which means her unborn twins were legally considered viable by state statute, Wooten said.
"They would have entered, just started the third trimester of a pregnancy, and by law, by statute, that makes them viable," Wooten said. She said she decided to also conduct autopsies on the babies to determine whether they died as a result of their mother's death or some other cause.
"I can tell you that the autopsy failed to reveal any problems with these babies other than they were premature, and obviously upon the death of their mother, their life depends on her life, and so, upon her death, they, too, died," Wooten said. She said because the unborn babies would have been dependent on their mother's circulation of oxygenated blood, by the time first responders would have been able to get into the home and determine their mother had died, it would have been too late for their lives to have been saved.
"Viability speaks about the ability of an infant, a baby, a fetus to live outside the womb on its own, with or without medical assistance," she said, adding that some premature babies are sometimes able to live on their own without a ventilator or other assistance, but that a certain level of development of the fetus is necessary to reach that ability.
"Say she had just gone into early labor and delivered these babies," Wooten said. "They would have required a lot of medical support, but they had the capability, whether or not they would have, but they had the capability of surviving outside the womb, which is why I decided to do autopsies on both of these babies because I thought it was important, even if they were not injured directly in the shooting, to determine whether or not there were other problems they had that might not have rendered them viable."
Wooten told reporters she spoke to the solicitor's office Thursday morning, but said the solicitor's office would decide whether additional charges would be filed in the case.
Deputies previously charged 23-year-old Kenneth Ancrum with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. They say Ancrum's girlfriend was also wounded and was transported to MUSC and is expected to survive her injuries.
A judge denied bond for all but the weapons charge for Ancrum on Wednesday. Bond was automatically denied for the murder charges because only a circuit court judge can set bond on a murder charge.
Ancrum was being held at the Al Cannon Detention Center pending a bond hearing before a circuit court judge.