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Two suspects in triple murder probably will have separate trials in La Crosse

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The chances are slim that two suspects in a triple homicide will be tried together in La Crosse County. 

The DA’s office says it will not seek a joint trial for Nya Thao and co-defendant Khamthaneth Rattanasack in the July 2021 shooting deaths of three men at a quarry near West Salem.  Thao is already scheduled to go on trial next June. 

At a hearing on Thursday, Rattanasack’s attorney Bernardo Cueto asked for more time to line up witnesses and prepare for a possible trial.  Judge Elliott Levine said he’ll have another hearing for Rattanasack in 60 to 90 days. 

Three weeks have been set aside for the Thao trial, but the judge says that trial might be a bit shorter if Rattanasack is tried separately.

The sheriff’s office says the three men killed at the quarry allegedly were shot because one of them owed $600 to Rattanasack, who had recently gotten out of prison.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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