A man convicted for a 2021 triple murder near West Salem gets a life sentence in prison, with a possibility of release after 35 years.
Khamthaneth Rattanasack is 46 years old now, so he would be 81 when he’s allowed to ask for release. Rattanasack pled guilty in October to one murder charge, in the death of Nemo Yang. Trevor Maloney and Peng Lor also were killed at the quarry in July of 2021.
Prosecutors say Rattanasack was the main planner of the murders, and gave co-defendant Nya Thao a gun and ordered him to shoot the three victims. The shootings allegedly were planned because one victim owed Rattanasack 600 dollars.
Judge Elliott Levine called the shootings “senseless” and “an execution,” in which the victims knew they were about to be murdered.
“They had that entire time to contemplate that you were gonna kill them, or Mr. Thao was gonna kill them,” Levine told Rattanasack at the sentencing. “Those moments are horrifying, and absolutely not acceptable in civilized society to any degree.” Rattanasack did not make a statement at the sentencing hearing. He did testify for the prosecution at Thao’s trial.
District attorney Tim Gruenke says families of the victims are relieved that part of the case is now over. Lindsey Cerva, the partner of Trevor Maloney, spoke at the sentencing about the effect of Trevor’s death on their kids.
“This event, even though my kids were very young, has impacted them in the worst ways,” Cerva said in a statement to the court. “Having to explain to a 3-year-old, at the time, that her dad was hurt and that he wasn’t coming back home. has terrified her so much .” Cerva says seeing other students’ dads at school is a trigger to the girl.
Nya Thao was tried last June for the murders, but the jury could not reach a verdict, so a second trial is scheduled this summer.