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Governor Refuses Request To Turn Pleau Over To Feds

Governor Lincoln Chafee has declined the US Government's request to turn over the suspect in the murder of David Main.

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." 

Mike Kind June 24, 2011 at 02:25 AM
My understanding is that the Federal authorities are claiming jurisdiction based on the fact that the crime occurred om the premises of a federally insured bank. Why is our Governor not willing to accept this if not to save the life of an accused killer? Why does he feel the need to interfere, unless he is so out of touch with the feelings and beliefs of the people of Rhode Island as to think we want to exhibit leniency to this accused killer. He must still be found guilty, but when and if he is, why should our Governor seek leniency for him? Remember, if he is found guilty, he gunned down an innocent man in cold blood. Do we want to chance being next?
Doug Pariseau June 24, 2011 at 03:36 AM
I could not agree with you more. The Governor is too interested in shielding murderers and illegal immigrants to take care of law abiding citizens and legal immigrants.
Harold Ryan June 24, 2011 at 09:02 AM
I cannot speak to the reason that Gov. Chafee would refuse to turn over this man to the federal authorities. But I would ask this one simple question, where in the Constitution does the federal government derives its authority to supersede the state of Rhode Island's 10th amendment right to govern the state? I contend that the federal government has no authority under the United States Constitution, am I wrong? Which enumerated power of the federal government's authorizes this?
STEPHEN WEBER June 24, 2011 at 11:49 AM
The Constitution's Supremacy Clause may dictate Federal law superseding state law .... at least I hope so!!!!!.... Once again this one term governor proves he stands for everything bad unless you're a cold blooded murderer or an illegal enemy invader or a pervert trying to destroy the sanctity of of marriage union as 1 man and 1 woman...
Yvette M Ayotte June 24, 2011 at 12:03 PM
Once again, I think this governor is from a different plantet.
Lavergne June 25, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Hey Chafee, what message are you sending to the victim's family. You should resign immediately, you are an embarrasment to Rhode Island. I bet your own family despises your opinions.

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