Lawyer wants accused killer’s taped confession dismissed

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — A man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-wife on board a RIPTA bus confessed to the crime in an interview with police, but his lawyer wants the video tossed as evidence in the case, saying the statement was taken against his will.

Only Eyewitness News was in court as Christopher James’ taped confession was played. He’s charged in the murder of 46-year-old Terry Chiodo, whose life was taken from her on a bus in Portsmouth in February of 2013.

The video, which was recorded at the police department that day, was played because his attorney filed a motion to have it dismissed from the trial.

As soon as the video started to play James began to cry, and he teared up several times throughout the hearing. The video shows James rocking back and forth, and for about 20 minutes he didn’t say a word, but eventually he started talking.

Police can be heard reading the suspect his rights several times.

During the interview, James told police he didn’t know his ex-wife was going to be on the bus. He explained that he wanted to see her, because he wanted to acknowledge he was an alcoholic and apologize for things he had done over the years.

“I need to ask for forgiveness because of all that I put you through. You gave me ultimatums way back when because of my alcoholism,” states James in the video. I never knew that it was that bad, but I also never even knew what I put her through.”

Prosecutors maintain James never invoked his right to remain silent. The defense said he did, and that was too distraught to be interviewed by police.

The judge will issue her ruling before the first day of jury selection, which is scheduled for Jan. 12.


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