Michael Jace, best known for starring as a police officer on The Shield, was sentenced by a judge in Los Angeles to 40 years to life in prison on Friday for shooting his wife to death.
A jury found the 53-year-old actor guilty of second-degree murder last week, deliberating for two hours before reaching the verdict. April Jace, a 40-year-old Biola University counselor, was gunned down two years ago by Michael in their L.A. home in front of their two children, aged 5 and 8.
Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef told jurors during the weeklong trial last month that Jace was upset that his wife had asked for a divorce, and shot her in the back before shooting her in the legs. Jace had called 911 after the shooting and informed the operator that he had shot his wife. He told detectives that he was not trying to kill her but rather injure his wife, who was a runner, in the legs so she would feel pain. One of their sons testifed that he heard his father say, “ ‘If you like running, then run to heaven,’” before shooting her again.
“There is absolutely no justification for my actions on that night,” Jace told April’s family members in court on Friday, according to the AP. “I am profoundly sorry for the pain that I’ve caused everyone.”
Jonathan Seruyange, associate director of financial aid at Biola University, previously told People that April “was a very joyful person. “She was very caring. Very joyful. Always ready to joke and laugh with people. She was easy to get to know.”
Jace’s credits include Southland, Boogie Nights, Forrest Gump, and NYPD Blue.
by Dan Snierson