U.S. Attorney Takes Death Penalty off the Table for Jason Pleau, Who will Plead Guilty

Jul 26, 2013

The man at the center of a legal tug-of-war between Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the U.S. Attorney’s office over the death penalty will plead guilty to murder charges and will not face the death penalty.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha’s office says 35-year-old Jason Pleau will plead guilty by way of a federal indictment for the 2010 robbery and murder of a Woonsocket gas station manager. And as part of a plea deal his office will not seek a death sentence.  

Initially Gov. Lincoln Chafee refused to hand Pleau over citing the state’s opposition to the death penalty, which has been abolished in Rhode Island since 1852.  

The U.S. Supreme Court denied the state’s request to review whether the state could refuse to hand Pleau over to the feds.

David Main was shot at close range as he approached a Woonsocket bank to make a deposit. In a statement, Gov. Chafee said Main’s family is in his thoughts, and called a life sentence an appropriate punishment that respects Rhode Island’s opposition to the death penalty.

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