Houston native and Grammy-nominated gospel artist, James Fortune, pleads guilty to assaulting his wife.
His plea deal was to the third degree felony charge of assault involving family violence. Prosecutors say Fortune’s wife agreed to the plea deal to avoid stress of putting their three kids through trials and testifying against him.
Fortune was sentenced by Fort Bend District Judge Maggie Jaramillo to five days in jail, five years of probation, 175 hours of community service, and completion of a batterer’s intervention program. He is also ordered to stay away from his wife.
Investigators say “Fortune struck his wife with a wooden vanity stool, kicked her and threw her against a wall one night inside their Stafford home in October of 2014.”
The statement read in court from Fortune’s wife read “I hope in all of this you get help. Serious help. Although this probation might be like a slap on the wrist, I hope you look at it as a moment to better yourself and change something within you for your future.”
This is Fortune’s second time pleading guilty on accounts of hurting a member of his family. In 2002 he was ordered to six years of probation for burning over 40% of his four-year-old son’s body in hot water. Fortune stated that it was a from of discipline.