51-year-old actor Michael Jace, who is best known for his role in the police drama television show Shield, has been charged with the murder of his wife. If convicted, Jace could face up to 50 years in state prison.
Jace was arrested last Tuesday and charged with the murder of his 40-year-old wife, April. According to police reports, April was shot several times in her stomach and torso while inside the couple’s Hyde Park home on Monday. Neighbors reported hearing a verbal altercation between Michael and April just moments before the gunshots occurred. Following the incident, Jace called 911 on his cellphone and admitted to shooting his wife.
Investigators searched the couple’s Hyde Park home and recovered a handgun which they believe was used in the murder. However, testing must be done to confirm it is in fact the weapon used in April’s murder.
The couple’s two children were believed to have been inside the home when the murder took place. Following the incident, the children were moved into the home of a relative.
“At very least they [the Jaces’ two children] heard the shots. It is a terrible tragedy, made all the more worse by their children being there,” said LAPD Det. Sal LaBarbera.
April Jace worked at the financial aid office at the La Mirada-based Christian college Biola University.
“April’s radiant personality brought great energy to the Financial Aid Office. Her love for helping students and families and her great work ethic earned the respect and love of her co-workers. Her smiling face and helpful spirit will be missed by all,” wrote Geoff Marsh, senior director of financial aid wrote in a statement.
According to media reports, Jace had no previous criminal record; however, the 51-year-old actor was struggling with debt. Public records show Jace filed for bankruptcy in 2011, listing his total debts to be around $500,000 to $1,000,000. A large portion of his debt came from the couple’s home. Jace also owed approximately $22,000 in state and federal taxes.
The motive behind April’s death remains a mystery. Investigators have yet to speculate as to why Michael shot his wife, but they are confident they have substantial evidence to convince a jury in finding the former Shield actor guilty on first-degree murder.
Jace is being held in the Los Angeles County Jail on $2 million bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 18.