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RI man in capital punishment battle agrees to plead guilty to avoid death penalty

A Rhode Island man who was at the center of a capital punishment battle between the state and federal governments has agreed to plead guilty in exchange for prosecutors dropping plans to seek the death penalty.

The U.S. Attorney's office said Friday that Jason Pleau (plew) would plead guilty to robbery, conspiracy and a firearms charge in the death of David Main.

Main was a gas station manager who was shot to death outside a Woonsocket bank in September 2010 as he was making deposit.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) fought unsuccessfully to keep the 35-year-old Pleau out of federal custody, saying the state had rejected the use of the death penalty.

As part of the plea agreement, both sides will recommend a sentence of life in prison without parole.