*Beating one’s wife is not what is expected of any man and especially a gospel singer.
However that’s the case with James Fortune. But then again, he’s not a stranger to domestic violence.
On Tuesday, Fortune plead guilty to assaulting his wife, Cheryl Fortune, as part of a plea deal to a third degree felony charge of assault.
The Grammy nominated gospel singer received five days in jail as well as five years of probation. On top of that, he’ll have to do 175 hours of community service and complete a “batterer’s intervention” program. And to top it off, he’ll have stay away from his wife. Hmm, that going to make it hard to impossible for their marriage to continue.
As he left a Houston courtroom, Fortune had no comment. However, his mother told ABC13-Eyewitness News that he is not guilty, but she would not elaborate.
What happened, you might be wondering. It seems Fortune, 37, allegedly hit his wife with a wooden stool, kicked her and threw her across the room.
“I hope in all of this you get help. Serious help. Although this probation might be like a slap on the wrist,” his wife wrote in a victim impact statement. “I hope you look at it as a moment to better yourself and change something within you for your future.”
Prosecutors say Cheryl Fortune agreed to the plea deal because she did not want to put her children through the stress of a trial or subject them to the possibility of having to testify against their father.
As we said up top, the “You Survived” singer has been down this road before. In 2002 he took a plea deal for six years of probation after burning his four-year-old son in hot water. Investigators said Fortune said it was a form of discipline. The boy was burned over 40 percent of his body.