Death penalty still possible for Woonsocket murder suspect

Death penalty still possible for Woonsocket murder suspect

WOONSOCKET – The man accused of murdering a gas station manager outside of Citizens Bank in 2010 could still face the death penalty, according to a ruling today by a federal court judge.

U.S. District Judge William Smith denied Jason Pleau's appeal to take the possibility of the death sentence off the table. The 34-year-old Woonsocket man is facing a federal trial for the murder of David Main during a botched robbery at the Diamond Hill branch in the fall of 2010.

Pleau's lawyers had argued, in part, that the sentence is unconstitutional. Gov. Lincoln Chafee's attempt to keep the trial in state last year for similar reasons was turned down by the United States Supreme Court. Chafee argued that because the sentence does not exist in Rhode Island, a citizen of the state should not face the death penalty.

The accused murderer's trial is scheduled to begin in September.