Gospel singer James Fortune turns himself in on assault charge

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016
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Gospel singer James Fortune has turned himself in after pleading guilty to assaulting his wife

FORT BEND COUNTY (KTRK) -- Grammy-nominated gospel artist James Fortune turned himself in to the Fort Bend County jail just after 6pm Monday.

Fortune accepted a plea deal in early March for a third degree felony charge of assaulting his wife. He was sentenced to five years of probation plus five days in jail. He must also serve 175 hours of community service, complete a "batterer's intervention" program and 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.

In court, a prosecutor read a victim impact statement from Fortune's wife in which she wrote, "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."

It's the second time Fortune has pleaded guilty after hurting a family member. 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.