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Rattanasack pleads guilty to one murder charge in triple homicide at West Salem quarry



FILE - Kham Rattanasack appears by video,pleading guilty to murder in La Crosse County court on Oct. 30, 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

One of the two suspects in a 2021 triple murder at a La Crosse County quarry pleaded guilty to one homicide charge.

Under a plea agreement, other charges against Khamthaneth Rattanasack are being dismissed, including two other counts of murder.

The 46-year-old would receive mandatory life in prison with a possibility of release after 20 years. Sentencing is planned for early next year.

Rattanasack is jailed outside of La Crosse County for other crimes. He appeared remotely by video on Monday before Judge Elliott Levine.

FILE – Murder suspect Kham Rattanasack is questioned by District Attorney Tim Gruenke at the trial of co-defendant Nya Thao in La Crosse in June of 2023. (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Rattanasack, and a second man, Nya Thao, were arrested for the shooting deaths of Nemo Yang, Peng Lor, and Trevor Maloney in July of 2021 at the Romskog quarry near West Salem, allegedly over a $600 debt, according to law enforcement.

Rattanasack specifically pleaded guilty to the murder of Yang.

Prosecutors say Rattanasack was the main planner of the murders and gave Thao a gun, ordering him to shoot the three victims.

Thao was tried in La Crosse for the murders last June but the jury could not reach a verdict.

Thao is scheduled for a new trial in August.

Levine ordered Rattanasack to be sentenced at least 90 days from now. He said a presentence investigation should not make a recommendation on when Rattanasack could be eligible for early release.

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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