This morning, Gov. Lincoln Chafee responded to Deborah Smith, sister to David Main, who says he's preventing just prosecution of Jason Pleau, accused of killing her brother in a 2010 robbery.
Pleau, 34, was one of three suspects and robbery of David Main, which took place at Citizens Bank on Diamond Hill Road in Woonsocket in September of 2010.
WPRI.com reports that Smith sent a letter to Chafee May 8 asking him to stop "obstructing justice" by fighting for custody over Pleau.
Pleau, who has been the subject of a custody struggle between federal authorities and Chafee, could face the death penalty in federal court. In state court, Pleau would face a maximum sentence of life in prison. The governor has refused to turn Pleau over to federal authorities for the last 10 months, invoking Rhode Island's long-standing objection to the death penalty and the state's sovereignty.
Chafee has announced he intends to appeal a First Circuit Court of Appeals decision telling him to turn Pleau over to federal custody.
This morning, when asked about Smith's letter, Chafee said highly emotional cases like this one are difficult to navigate. "That's when you test your convictions," Chafee said.
Chafee also apologized for the pain the legal battle is causing the family. "I regret that each time this case appears in the news it causes further pain for the Main family. I extend once again my most sincere condolences to them for their terrible loss, which resulted from such a senseless crime," Chafee wrote in a release.