CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The man accused in the May 2016 deaths of two women, a child and unborn twins will spend the rest of his life behind bars after entering guilty pleas to five murder charges.
With emotions running high in the courtroom, Kenneth Ancrum pleaded guilty in the May 17, 2016, shooting at a mobile home park on Savannah Highway in Ravenel.
He was charged with five counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
The charges stem from the deaths of Betty Mungin, 55; her daughter, Alexis Mungin, 29, who was pregnant with twins at the time; and Alexis's daughter, Armani Mungin, 8, who were all shot to death in their home. When he was apprehended, deputies said Ancrum was attempting to drag an injured woman into a car and leave with her.
Ancrum's plea was the result of a negotiated plea agreement that had been accepted by both the victims' families and Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson. Wilson said she would have sought the death penalty against Ancrum because of the aggravated circumstances of kidnapping, but said that when Ancrum agreed to accept the plea deal, family members of the victims told Wilson they did not want to have to relive the pain for so many years waiting for a death sentence to be handed down.
"Understanding how long it would take and watching the toll the family has really suffered," Wilson said.
Family members of the victims spoke out prior to Ancrum's sentencing.
"You are a coward. How could you kill someone who knew you?" Patricia Ford, the sister of Betty Mungin, said to Ancrum.
"Not a day goes by that I don't think about them," Janet Horlbeck, another sister of Betty Mungin, said.
Ancrum's former girlfriend, Quiwanna Mungin, the woman deputies say he wounded and was attempting to leave with, also spoke out. During her comments, she called Ancrum a "monster."
"Never did I agree I'd have kids with the devil," she said. "How could the father of your child kill your family? How could the father of your child try to kill you?"
Mungin said they were in a dispute over the child at the time of the shooting.
After the family members made their remarks, Ancrum made a brief apology.
"I truly, from the bottom of my heart, apologize to the family," he said.
Ancrum's attorney said he saw combat in Afghanistan and cane home showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, public defender Ashley Pennington said that was no excuse for his actions.
The victims' family members agreed.
"To deal with such a mass killing, five at once, it's unbearable," Ford said.
Jessica Haynes was a witness to the shooting and recalled what she saw after the hearing.
"I was in the house when he murdered my mother, sister and niece," she said. "He shot them dead and after he shot them he laughed at them like it was some type of joke."
Deputies responded to the scene of the shooting on the afternoon of May 17, 2016.
Deputies searching the home and found the three victims. The injured woman's four-month-old son, who did not appear to be harmed, was also found inside the home, deputies said.
After Ancrum had been taken into custody, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said the deputy who stopped Ancrum at the scene likely saved the life of the injured woman.
Ancrum was originally charged with three counts of murder and the other charges, but Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced two additional murder charges regarding the unborn twin children who "were in utero and viable when their mother was murdered" were presented against him in July 2016.