© 2023 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 98.3 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Rock Island man, Fortune Testifies in Murder Case

A Rock Island man, accused of killing his fiancée's mother last year, took the witness stand Monday. It was the fourth day of testimony in Scott County District Court for the trial of 49-year-old Gary Fortune.

Police say in September 2014, Fortune broke into an apartment on 11th Street in Davenport, and fatally stabbed 61-year-old Betty Simmons. He also stabbed her husband, Jack Simmons, multiple times, but he survived. Fortune was arrested the next day in Mercer County.

Fortune told detectives that on September 8th, he got into an argument with Betty Simmons, where they both pulled out knives. 90 minutes later, he entered the apartment again through an unlocked window. 

Surveillance video shows Fortune leaving the building with a knife in his hand and a blood-like stain on his polo shirt. Last week, a state crime lab testified both Fortune's and Jack Simmon's DNA was on a polo shirt found in the apartment.   

The Quad City Times reports Fortune testified for 45 minutes Monday, claiming he did argue with Betty Simmons at times, but they still had a good relationship. He says Simmons often used drugs and asked him for money. A toxicology report shows Simmons had cocaine and alcohol in her system at the time of her death. 

Fortune is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, as well as first-degree arson and burglary. The murder charge is a Class A felony punishable by life in prison.