Actor Michael Jace, best known for his TV role as Los Angeles police Officer Julien Lowe in “The Shield,” has been convicted of murdering his wife. A six-man, six-woman jury delivered the verdict on Tuesday in a Los Angeles Superior Court.
Jace shot and killed his wife April in front of their two young sons in 2014. He faces up to 40 years to life in prison for second-degree murder when he is sentenced on June 10. The shooting occurred in the couple’s Hyde Park home.
Jace said the couple were having financial problems and had accused April of infidelity. Although he never denied shooting his wife, attorneys on both sides argued over whether he should be found guilty of first or second-degree murder.
“He did it. We’re not saying he didn’t do it,” defense attorney Jamon Hicks said, and told jurors, “You have to be sure that he planned it” to convict him of first-degree murder.
Hicks argued that his client just “snapped” and did not intend to kill his wife. He added that Jace wanted to save his marriage and had been drinking. The couple reportedly exchanged 164 text messages the day of the shooting—91 were from Jace.
The prosecution tried to show that the murder was premeditated.
The couple’s son, Nehemiah testified that “…my dad said, ‘If you like running, run to heaven,’ and then he shot her.”
Prosecuting attorney Tannaz Mokayef said Jace was “obsessed” with April and referred to Nehemiah’s testimony as evidence that the shooting was planned: “(He) is saying the words that show premeditation — go to heaven.”
In addition to his role in “The Shield,” Jace has also appeared in such films as “Forrest Gump,” “Boogie Nights” and “Planet of the Apes.”