Gov. Lincoln Chafee said in a statement Wednesday that the state will appeal the Jason Pleau case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled 3-2 on Tuesday that Pleau can face federal charges, which could lead to the death penalty.
Federal authorities want to try Pleau on charges he fatally shot David Main outside a Woonsocket bank in 2010.
Chafee has refused to surrender Pleau because Rhode Island doesn’t have the death penalty.
“Given the close vote of the full court, which demonstrates a genuine split in the interpretation of the law, the State of Rhode Island must seek to protect both the strong states’ rights issues at stake and the legitimacy of its longstanding public policy against the death penalty,” Chafee said in the statement.
Main’s family wants Chafee to drop the legal fight.
“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 said.