Chafee declines transfer of murder suspect to feds

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declined to turn over to federal authorities a Rhode Island murder suspect who could face the death penalty if convicted.

In a Thursday letter obtained by The Associated Press, Chafee told federal prosecutors of his decision to reject a request to transfer Jason Pleau, who is in state custody, to temporary federal custody.

Pleau was indicted last year on charges he shot David Main to death outside a Woonsocket bank.

Chafee says he can’t “in good conscience voluntarily expose a Rhode Island citizen to a potential death penalty prosecution” because the state wouldn’t impose such a sentence.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Rhode Island says prosecutors plan to move forward with the case. An attorney for Pleau praised the governor’s decision.

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