RIPTA Bus Stabbing Suspect Arraigned on Murder Charge

The suspect, Christopher James, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Second District Court.


A Providence man arrested early Wednesday morning after allegedly stabbing a Portsmouth woman on a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus, was arraigned later in the day in Second District Court, Newport. 

Christopher R. James, 46, with a last known address of 207 Rhodes St., Providence, was charged with first-degree domestic murder, according to WPRO. He did not enter a plea at his arraignment, according to the article. 

He is also being held without bail pending a hearing, reports The Providence Journal. 

The Journal also released the identity of the victim despite investigators withholding this information pending family notification.

At 6:15 am Wednesday, Portsmouth police were called to the overlook on West Main Road near Willow Lane in regards to a reported stabbing that occurred on a RIPTA bus.

"When police arrived on scene, they learned that a 46-year-old female resident of Portsmouth had been stabbed by a male passenger shortly after she boarded the bus," according to a press release. "Immediately after the stabbing, two other male passengers brought the suspect to the ground and detained him until police arrived." 

The woman was transported to Rhode Island Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. 

Police and RIPTA officials are stressing the incident appears to be a domestic-related incident, and not a "random act of violence." 

James has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1985, according to court records, including a 2011 charge of assault on a person over 60 in which he was remanded to the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI). He has been arrested more than 20 times in the last two decades, reports WPRO. 


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