Chafee To Turn Pleau Over To Federal Custody

Governor says he'll continue to appeal case to U.S. Supreme Court.


After a nearly year-long contest between RI and the federal government, Gov. Lincoln Chafee says he'll hand accused murderer Jason W. Pleau over to federal officials today.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee confirmed this morning that he plans to allow accused murderer Jason Pleau to be turned over to federal court this afternoon — though he added that the state will continue to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pleau has been the subject of a struggle between federal authorities and Chafee for nearly a year because he could face the death penalty in federal court. He is charged with the murder of David Main during a night deposit robbery at Citizen's Bank in 2010

On Tuesday, the Providence Journal reported a U.S. District Court judge in Boston ordered the state to turn over Pleau for federal arraignment at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

According to a release from US Attorney Peter F. Neronha, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith issued a writ ordering Mr. Pleau to appear before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin for arraignment today. Pleau remains in state custody until he appears before Martin.

On Thursday, WPRI.com reported that the Supreme Court has refused to delay the surrender of Pleau over to federal custody.

Chafee said he would honor the U.S. District Court ruling.

"We're adhering to the law, but still pursuing the court cases," Chafee said during an interview following a business forum held in Johnston.

The governor reiterated his prior statements that costs for the appeal to the Supreme Court won't be placed on the state.

"The case has been taken on by a Washington firm, pro bono, [with] no cost to the Rhode Island taxpayer," Chafee said.

Russell Archambault May 31, 2012 at 12:27 AM
why would a Washington firm take on a case like this. is this firm a civil rights advocate type firm, or is this a favor to the governor?
Dave Raymond May 31, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Sorry Bill, but you are incorrect. This is a federal case, due to where the crime took place. Any bank that is insured by the federal is on federal land and subject to federal laws. The feds are not re-opening their case, as their case had never been closed.
Bill Santagata May 31, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Banks are private business and thus are on private property. It is a federal crime to rob an FDIC-insured bank. However, Pleau did not rob the bank he robbed a private citizen as he was going to make a transaction with the bank, making the federal interest in this case weaker. As the dissent states: "We further digress to interject that the crimes Pleau is alleged to have committed -- armed robbery and murder of a private citizen on the way to making a deposit in the bank -- are quintessential state crimes, and betray on their face no hint of any uniquely federal interest. [...] In the present case, extending federal jurisdiction over a crime with at most, de minimis impact on interstate commerce, is stretching that concept beyond the bounds of Congress's constitutional power."
give me a break May 31, 2012 at 05:51 PM
pro bono --- I think that means if gov.goof wins they pay-- if gov. goofy looses the tax payer pays .
anastasia levesque June 20, 2012 at 02:08 PM
if it was his family member that got shot & killed he would've turned him over right away this family deserves justice & i'm glad they are gonna recieve it hope they are there for his execution to put some closer god be with the family having to wait this long for justice crooked state officials they should just let criminals run for everything @ least we know they are crooks already


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