The federal government intends to seek the death penalty against Jason W. Pleau, accused of armed robbery and murder in Woonsocket last year.
Pleau was one of in the murder and robbery of David Main in front of Citizens Bank in Woonsocket last September. Main was shot at close range while attempting to make a deposit of more than $12,000 from the Shell gas station where he worked.
The federal government campained to handle the prosecution, which Gov. Lincoln Chafee resisted. But U.S. District Court. Chafee initially despite a federal indictment, stating that he could not risk allowing a Rhode Island resident to be subject to the death penalty. Although Rhode Island does not use the death penalty as punishment, a defendant can still receive the sentence for a federal capital crime.
Notice was filed with the U.S. District Court in Providence, today that the federal government indeed intends to seek the death penalty against Pleau, 34, of Providence, if convicted for his alleged participation in the conspiracy, and the armed robbery and shooting of Main, from Woonsocket. Specifically, the United States will seek a sentence of death for count three of the indictment against Pleau which charges the defendant with possessing, using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Protocol for capital cases, including the process by which the government determines whether or not to seek the death penalty in a particular case, is contained in the U.S. Attorney’s Manual which may be viewed on the Department of Justice’s website at http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/10mcrm.htm .