UPDATE: Bonds set at $1 million for triple homicide suspects
LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Two men charged with killing three others near Holmen a week ago will remain in the La Crosse County Jail on $1 million bond each.
Khamthaneth Rattanasack and Nya Thao were arrested this week in connection with the deaths of Peng Lor, Nemo Yang and Trevor Maloney. Lor, Yang and Maloney were killed near the entrance to the Romskog Quarry on Hwy. M July 23 in the town of Hamilton.
All three victims were from the La Crosse area.
La Crosse County Judge Scott Horne ordered a $1 million cash bond for both Rattanasack and Thao, granting the request by the prosecutors. If bond is posted, Rattanasack and Thao would be required to have no contact with the families of the victims and also remain under house arrest, enforced by GPS monitoring.
They were each charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon as a party to a crime. There is a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment if they are convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.
According to the criminal complaint, Rattanasack accused Yang of stealing $600 from him. Despite a relative’s offer to pay the alleged debt, the relative was told “he wants (Yang’s) life.” A witness told police Rattanasack and Thao forced her to drive the men out to the quarry, then Rattanasack hit Maloney with the handgun and handed the gun to Thao. Thao shot the three men, according to the complaint.
“Additionally, when he was apprehended, Mr. Rattanasack disclosed he was at the location of the homicides at the time they occurred; and while Mr. Thao was the shooter, he supplied Mr. Thao with the firearm used to commit the murders,” said prosecutor Mitch Philbin.
Defense attorney Chris Zachar, who appeared with Thao for bond purposes, argued that Thao was unable to afford a cash bond and deserved a presumption of innocence.
“Mr. Thao is presumed innocent: 100 percent, absolutely innocent. The only information we have in the course of this case is what law enforcement has chosen to disclose in the course of the criminal complaint,” Zachar said.
Zachar also put on the record that Thao has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
See the sheriff’s summary statement here: La Crosse County Sheriff Statement
See our previous coverage here: Sheriff investigating triple homicide near Holmen.
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