A Los Angeles jury convicted Michael Jace of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his wife, April Jace, in May 2014, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday, May 31.
Jace, 53, who is best known for playing policeman Julien Lowe on the 2002-2008 crime series The Shield, told detectives that he did not mean to kill his wife. Subsequently, it was revealed on May 26 that the fallen star claimed he only meant to wound April, not murder her.
However, evidence showed that her shot his wife three times, and a panel of six men and six women deemed his attack a second-degree murder. The verdict was decided on Tuesday, May 31, two years after the incident.
Jace’s lawyers insisted that their client shot April in the heat of passion. “I was just angry. All I intended to do was shoot her in the leg. And then I shot her in the leg and that was it," Jace told detectives in 2014, via CBS. "I just ruined lives. Four lives. I mean, you could put the needle in my arm right now and be done. I'm fine with that."
As previously reported, Jace called 911 after shooting his wife at their L.A. residence. Their two sons, then 5 and 8, were at home at the time. At a court hearing on May 26, their now-10-year-old son stated that his father told April, "If you like running, then run to heaven," before shooting her.
According to a transcript from the call, Jace alleged that April lunged at him before he shot at her. His attorney, Jamon Hicks, claimed that the actor believed that his wife was having an affair.
While his sentence hasn’t yet been determined, Jace could face 50 years to life in prison. According to the AP, his ex-wife, Jennifer Bitterman, claimed in past court documents that he once physically abused her by pushing her head into a wall. In addition, the embattled New Jersey native filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2011.
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