US ordered to say if RI inmate faces death penalty

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A judge has ordered the U.S. Department of Justice to indicate whether it will seek the death penalty for a Rhode Island inmate in a legal tug-of-war between the governor and federal prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge William Smith issued the order Wednesday regarding Jason Pleau (plew). He set a Tuesday deadline, but federal authorities sought and were granted a one-week extension.

Pleau is accused of fatally shooting a man outside a Woonsocket bank in 2010.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) had refused to surrender Pleau to federal authorities, saying they want to try him to make the death penalty a possible punishment. Rhode Island doesn't have capital punishment.

An appeals court ruled he may stand trial in federal court.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha (nuh-ROH'-nuh) says prosecutors will comply with the order.

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