A jury has convicted “The Shield” actor, 53 year old, Michael Jace of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of his wife in front of their two young sons in Los Angeles. A jury of six women and six men deliberated about two hours before finding Jace, guilty in the killing of April Jace on May 19, 2014, prosecutors said.
According to Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef, the was obsessed with the thought that his wife was cheating on him and was very upset that she wanted a divorce.
When April Jace arrived home at about 8pm that fateful night at the couple’s home in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood, he shot her once in the back, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office..
Jace then shot her two more times in the legs in front of their sons, who were 8 and 5 when the shooting happened.
The actor then called 911 about 8:30 p.m. told the operator he’d shot his wife and waited for the Police to arrive. Her body was found inside the couple’s home along with their boys, who were unharmed. He was immediately arrested and had been in Police custody since then.
Jace, told detectives he didn’t intend to kill his wife and only wanted to inflict pain. He had had been out of work for years and said financial struggles put a strain on the couple’s marriage.
“I was just angry,” Michael Jace told investigators, according to a transcript released Thursday. “All I intended to do was shoot her in the leg. And then I shot her in the leg and that was it.”
Jace’s lawyers acknowledged he killed his wife in the couple’s home, but argued he should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter because it wasn’t a premeditated act.
Text messages presented during the trial show Michael Jace had told his wife after she had told him that she wanted a divorce, that he had left their home, but instead was waiting with his father’s loaded revolver.
He told detectives he planned to kill himself, but couldn’t follow through. He also said he shot his wife the first time after she lunged at him.
Jace’s now 10-year-old son testified that he heard his father tell his mother, “‘If you like running, then run to heaven.’”
Jace had defaulted on the $411,000 mortgage on the home where his wife died, according to the documents
In the year before her death, April Jace worked as a financial aid counselor at Biola University, a private school in La Mirada, California, according to the school.
For Savoy Brown, the son of April Jace from a previous marriage, the verdict brings some closure.
“Finally it’s less of a burden,” he told reporters outside the courtroom. “It feels really empty because that’s my mom. It’s the person who literally brings you into the world and she’s no longer there.”
“The Shield” offered the biggest role in Jace’s 22-year acting career. He appeared in 89 episodes as Julien Lowe, who started as a rookie officer in an inner-city Los Angeles police precinct and was promoted to a detective before the series ended in 2008.
The actor appeared to be under severe financial strain in the years before his 2014 arrest, according to court documents obtained by CNN.
Jace filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in March 2011, citing $500,000 in debts and an annual income of around $80,000 from residuals from his TV and film work, documents said.
Jace is expected to be sentenced on June 10. He faces 40 years to life in state prison.