James Brown Won't Contest Domestic Violence Charge

Entertainer James Brown (search) told prosecutors in a letter received Monday that he would forgo a jury trial and not contest a domestic violence charge because he wanted to keep his family matters private.

The 71-year-old Godfather of Soul was arrested in January and accused of pushing his wife, Tommie Rae Hynie (search), to the floor and threatening to kill her.

Prosecutor Anthony Odom said Monday that Brown had pleaded guilty to the charge. However, no plea was entered by Brown.

Brown initially said he would fight the charge but instead forfeited his $1,087 bond, which will cover a fine for the offense, according to Odum.

Brown's lawyer, Jim Huff, said the action is the same as being convicted but "Mr. Brown does not admit to being guilty of this crime."

Huff added that the entertainer did not want his wife to have to testify at trial.

"A public trial would subject Tommie Rae Hynie to cross examination and challenge her veracity which would have the potential of harming Mr. Brown and Ms. Hynie's relationship," the letter to prosecutors said. "My client desires to avoid this."

Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music (search), Brown's management firm, said the decision was made to "keep their family matters private."

Brown's decision not to seek a trial will not affect a pardon he received from the state of South Carolina in 2003 for seven convictions over a 10-year period. Most of the offenses involved guns or drugs.