By Shereen Siewert
Two men including one from Wausau who are accused in a triple homicide in western Wisconsin in July have pleaded not guilty in the case.
Khamthaneth Rattanasack, 44, and Nya Thao, 33, have each been charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Both men are accused in the execution-style shooting of three men outside the entrance of a Wisconsin quarry.
The charges were filed July 28 in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
Rattanasack, who has a long criminal history, is the former co-owner of Mountain Lanes in Wausau, which closed abruptly in 2017.
The suspects on Friday waived their right to preliminary hearings. They are being held in the La Crosse County Jail on $1 million cash bond. Both face life in prison if convicted.
The bodies of Peng Lor and Nemo Yang, both 24, and Trevor Maloney, 23, were discovered July 23 outside the Romskog Quarry near West Salem, according to the La Crosse County Sheriff’s Office. Police say the killings happened sometime between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. July 23. Employees at Milestone Materials discovered the bodies.
A woman who had been with the victims told police that Rattanasack told all three of the victims to get on their knees, then he gave Thao the gun and Thao shot all three men multiple times. Authorities aren’t sure why the woman’s life was spared.
Prosecutors have said that Rattanasack believed that at least one of the victims had stolen $600 from him.
West Salem is about 14 miles northeast of La Crosse, which is along the Minnesota border.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.