A Providence man was charged with domestic murder in the stabbing death of his ex-wife on a RIPTA bus early Wednesday morning in Portsmouth.
Christopher James, 46, of Providence, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment.
Police said James stabbed his 46-year-old ex-wife Terry Chiodo just after she boarded the RIPTA bus at about 6:15 a.m. on Bristol Ferry Road. She was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.
Police said two men on the bus forced the suspect to the floor and held him until police arrived.
One of the Samaritans told NBC 10 News that he could see the fear on Chiodo's face as soon as she boarded the bus. He said James pulled the stop cord in an attempt to escape, but another passenger tripped him.
The Samaritan said the woman only realized she had been stabbed when she saw blood.
Police tried to ease bus riders' fears by saying it was not a random act of violence.
"This was an isolated event and Rhode Islanders should continue to be confident in their safety while using RIPTA," said a joint statement from the governor's office and RIPTA administrators.
The statement expressed condolences to the family of the victim and support for the driver and passengers who witnessed the stabbing.
RIPTA said the bus was outbound on Route 60 between Providence and Newport.
The NBC 10 I-Team found James has a rap sheet dating back 20 years.
James has been charged with breaking and entering, resisting arrest, drunken driving, assault, and assault on an elderly person.
His record also shows he's done about six months of prison time over the years on a variety of charges. He's also been charged in the past with eluding police.