The two suspects in a July 23 triple homicide in La Crosse County waived their preliminary hearings and pleaded not guilty Friday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
Khamthaneth Rattanasack, 41, no permanent address, and Nya Kou Thao, 33, Holmen, are accused of carrying out execution-style shootings of 24-year-olds Nemo Yang and Peng Lor, both with ties to the La Crosse area, and 23-year-old Trevor Maloney with recent addresses in Cashton and Sparta.
Rattanasack and Thao each face three felony counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one felony count of a felon in possession of a firearm. They have been held in the La Crosse County Jail on $1 million cash bond since July 29. Both face life in prison if convicted.
The bodies of the three victims were discovered at the entrance to a quarry in the town of Hamilton. Prosecutors believe the homicides were triggered by Rattanasack’s belief that at least one of the victims had stolen $600 from him.
According to the criminal complaint, a witness told police that Rattanasack ordered the three victims to get on their knees and crawl toward the quarry gate. The witness said Rattanasack then gave a gun to Thao, who shot all three victims multiple times.
The witness said Rattanasack and Thao allowed her to return to her vehicle and drive away from the scene. Authorities have yet to determine why Rattanasack and Thao spared her life.