LOS ANGELES (AP) — A jury on Tuesday convicted an actor who played a police officer on TV of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife that was partially witnessed by their two young sons.
The verdict in the trial of Michael Jace, who appeared on the FX series “The Shield,” came after a weeklong trial in which Los Angeles jurors were told the actor shot his wife, April, in the back and then twice in the legs with a revolver that belonged to her father.
Jace, 53, did not testify in his own defense. He told detectives soon after the attack that he had retrieved the gun to kill himself but couldn’t do it. Instead, he planned to shoot his wife, an avid runner, in the leg so she would feel pain, Jace said in a recorded interview.
Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef told jurors the actor was waiting for his wife, shot her in the back and taunted her before shooting each of her legs.
Jace’s 10-year-old son testified that he heard his father say, “‘If you like running, then run to heaven,'” before firing the second time.
Savoy Brown, an adult son of April Jace, said the family was pleased with the verdict. He said watching Michael Jace has been difficult for the family, and he is hoping the actor, who bit his bottom lip when the verdict was read but showed no other emotion, will show his feelings when he is sentenced.
“I’d just like to see the sadness on his face, that he realized it because it seems every now and then, there’s moments of sadness and there’s moments of not,” Brown said after the verdict. “And those moments of not really get me questioning, you know, how can you go that far? How can you say those words? How can you do that?”
Mokayef said the potential sentence would be 40 years to life in prison when Jace is sentenced on June 10.
She said during the trial that the actor was upset that his wife wanted a divorce and believed she was having an affair, although no evidence was presented during the trial that she was cheating.
Jace’s attorney, Jamon Hicks, said his client is remorseful for killing his wife. The actor may speak during his sentencing hearing to express his remorse, but he wants to be respectful of April Jace’s family, the lawyer said.
Hicks previously told jurors the actor accepted responsibility for killing his wife, but he should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter because he shot her in the heat of passion.
Jace turned himself in to police after the shooting and has been jailed since.
April Jace, 40, was a financial aid counselor at Biola University. She was married to Michael Jace for nine years and they had two sons, who were 8 and 5 at the time of her death.
Michael Jace had small roles in films such as “Planet of the Apes,” ”Boogie Nights” and “Forrest Gump.”
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP