PAWTUCKET – A statewide grand jury Wednesday indicted a Pawtucket man on a charge of domestic murder stemming from an alleged assault on his ex-wife as she rode a RIPTA bus in Portsmouth in February.
Christopher James, 46, whose last known address was listed as 8 Randall St., Pawtucket, was charged with one count of domestic murder by the grand jury over the death of Terry Chiodo, 46. He was scheduled for arraignment on the charge on July 22 in Washington County Superior Court in Wakefield, according to Amy Kempe, spokesperson for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
James has been in custody at the Adult Correctional Institute since being arrested at the scene of the murder, according to Kempe. Prior to the alleged assault, he had had numerous contacts with police for domestic incidents, assaults, and drunken driving.
According to Kempe, the victim was riding the bus the morning of Feb. 27 when James boarded it on West Main Road in Portsmouth and began to stab Chiodo repeatedly with a knife.
Portsmouth police were called to the bus’s location at about 6:15 a.m. and found James being restrained by two people on the bus. Chiodo was reported to have suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest from the large kitchen knife used in the attack. She was transported by rescue to Rhode Island Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival, according to Kempe.
“In its case against the defendant, the state alleges that James was the person stabbing Chiodo and that as a result of the assault, she died of her injuries,” Kempe said.
The killing of Chiodo on the RIPTA bus prompted domestic violence groups in the state to call for greater attention to the problem of domestic assault and murder. The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence maintains a 24-hour helpline at 1-800-494-8100.