Murder charges dismissed
WINDOM -- More than two years after first-degree attempted murder charges were filed against Bounthong Inthaxay of Mountain Lake, Cottonwood County Assistant Attorney Nicholas Anderson filed documents to dismiss the charges, stating that because of a civil commitment, Inthaxay would be locked up for the rest of his life.
In October 2006, Inthaxay was charged with attempted murder after repeatedly striking Phayboun Khekitisack on the head with the handle of a two-ton jack. Inthaxay had hired Khekitisack to help him repair the transmission of a vehicle, but became enraged at the job he was doing. According to a young witness, Inthaxay removed the handle from a jack holding the pickup off the ground, struck Khekitisack several times in the head and then replaced the handle. The complaint states authorities had to unscrew the handle from the jack when they arrived at the scene.
The victim was rushed to the Windom Area Hospital, where it was determined his condition was life-threatening. He was air-lifted to a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he underwent surgery.
"Considering what he went through, the victim turned out surprisingly well," Anderson stated Wednesday. "He was coherent and just had some memory loss."
By the end of November 2008, Judge Bruce Gross had approved a motion filed on behalf of Inthaxay for a Rule 20 evaluation, which would determine for the court whether Inthaxay was competent to assist in his own defense and if he had a mental illness that impaired his ability to know right from wrong.
According to Anderson, Inthaxay was ruled incompetent.
"He will remain incompetent," Anderson stated, adding that Inthaxay had been in a car accident years earlier that had caused traumatic brain injury dementia. "It causes irrational outbursts. He's never going to get any better."
Because of the brain injury, the case would never have gone to trial, Anderson said, but not being able to locate the victim complicated the process.
"We tried to locate him extensively, using whatever contact information we had," he explained. "We were unable to find him."
Inthaxay was civilly committed about a year and a half ago, Anderson said, and after two years the case would have automatically been dismissed unless his office had filed something stating they wanted to keep the file open.
"But without a victim, it is hard to prosecute," he said.
With the case dismissed, Inthaxay will be able get into better programming in St. Peter, Anderson added, stressing that keeping Inthaxay committed keeps the general public safe from him.