crimesider

Cops cite domestic violence in murder of Michael Jace's wife

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles police are citing domestic violence as the motive for the murder of April Jace, 40, the wife of "The Shield" actor Michael Jace.

Michael Jace, 51, has been arrested and booked on suspicion of murder in her death, police tell CBS News' Crimesider. Law enforcement sources tell the LA Times that the actor confessed to the murder.

Police responded to the report of shots fired around 8:30 p.m. Monday night to a home in the 5400 block of Byrnhurst avenue in Los Angeles' Hyde Park district, LAPD Sgt. Albert Gonzalez told Crimesider. CBS LA reports officers discovered April Jace, the actor's wife of 10 years, shot multiple times in the hallway of their home.

Neighbors reported hearing arguing coming from the home before shots rang out, reports KNBC. April Jace suffered gunshot wounds in the upper body, according to KNBC.

"At this moment the motive of the murder is believed to be domestic violence," Los Angeles police said in a press release.

Michael Jace was standing in a doorway when police arrived and did not have a gun, reports the LA Times.

Police told CBS LA the couple's two young sons were at home at the time of the shooting. The boys had reportedly just returned home from little league practice with their mother when the shooting happened, reports the station.

"When there's children involved, it's very sad. It's unclear if they saw the shooting, but they heard the shooting," LAPD Det. Sal LaBarbera told the station. "And now to be left with no mother and no father, it's a very sad situation for all the kids involved."

The children are both under 10 years old, reports the LA Times.

"They were not physically hurt, but obviously their emotions are running high," LaBarbera told the Times.

The District Attorney has not formally filed charges against Michael Jace, Gonzalez said. The actor was transported to a police station for questioning and later booked on suspicion of murder early Tuesday.

Gonzalez said he couldn't reveal details of the questioning or why investigators suspect Jace in his wife's death, but he said the questioning "led detectives, obviously, to believe he was responsible in some way."

Jace is now being held on $1 million bail. He will likely go before a judge for a preliminary hearing within 48 hours of his arrest, Gonzalez said.

Jace, 51, played police officers in the TV series "The Shield" and "Southland" and had roles in "Forrest Gump" and "Planet of the Apes." He also reportedly starred opposite Russell Crowe in the film "State of Play."

Records show Jace filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2011, listing debts between $500,000 and $1 million. Much of the debt appeared to be related to his home, which he owed more on than it was worth, and more than $22,000 he owed in state and federal income taxes. More than $20,000 of his tax delinquency was owed to the state of California for the year 2008.

His wife was identified as a public school teacher for the past 10 years, according to the filings.

In a statement of his assets, Jace checked off a box indicating he didn't own any firearms.

Jace had agreed to a payment plan in the bankruptcy, but by November 2013 had fallen behind by nearly $2,000. A trustee sought to dismiss the case over the late payments, but that petition was withdrawn on Dec. 24, 2013, records show.

There are no records of any criminal cases involving Jace in Los Angeles.

  • Crimesider Staff

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