Driver in Woonsocket killing changes plea

Driver in Woonsocket killing changes plea

WOONSOCKET – The man who drove the getaway vehicle in a robbery that turned deadly in 2010 has filed papers withdrawing his plea of guilty.

Jose Santiago, 37, was one of three individuals charged in connection with the shooting of gas station manager David Main in front of Citizens Bank on Diamond Hill Road in 2010. In September of last year, he pled guilty, and was sentenced to 40 years by U.S. District Judge William E. Smith.

Now, Santiago has filed papers through his lawyer to withdraw the plea, saying that Smith failed to inform him of mandatory minimum penalties, as required by federal law. The charge, discharging a firearm resulting in death, comes with a minimum ten year consecutive sentence.

It is not the first legal hiccup in the case, which has made local and national headlines over the past four years. Santiago's accomplice, Jason Pleau, was subject to a legal tug-of-war between state and federal officials before he was ultimately sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting Main to death. The crime fell under federal jurisdiction because it took place on bank property, but Gov. Lincoln Chafee argued that a Rhode Island resident should not be tried in a court with the authority to sentence him to the death penalty. Federal officials won the battle, but Pleau pled guilty and avoided the potential sentence.

A third accomplice, Kelley Lajoie, 33, acted as a lookout in the crime, and was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison in February.