Governor Lincoln Chafee has declined a request by the federal government to turn over Jason Pleau, the 33 year-old murder suspect from Providence who has been charged in the shooting of David Main.
Pleau is one of three suspects in a murder and robbery which occurred at Citizens Bank in Woonsocket last September. Main, the 49 year-old manager of a Shell gas station from Lincoln, was chased, robbed and shot to death while attempting make the store's deposit.
A that Pleau, with the help of Jose A. Santiago, 33, and Kelley M. Lajoie, 32, of Springfield, MA devised a plan to rob Main, obtaining the getaway vehicle and revolver in advance of the incident. The indictment, handed down in December, charged the suspects with with one count each of Hobbs Act conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce; Hobbs Act robbery affecting commerce; and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, causing the death of another, making the case eligible for the death penalty.
Once a case is considered eligible, the Attorney General makes the decision as to whether or not the death penalty will be sought, consulting with the family of the victim and and evaluating the defendant's background and criminal record. More on this process can be found here.
Pleau is currently being held in the Adult Correctional Institution.
In a statement on the matter, Chafee said "A transfer of Mr. Pleau to temporary federal custody would potentially expose him to the death penalty, a penalty consciously rejected by the State of Rhode Island, even for those guilty of the most heinous crimes."
Chafee continued, "The person or persons responsible for this horrific act must, and will, be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law. I extend my deepest sympathy to Mr. Main's family for their unspeakable loss. Despite the horrific nature of this crime, however, the State of Rhode Island would not impose the death penalty."