TV star charged with murder of wife

Michael Jace has been charged with the murder of his wife April, right. Photo / AP
Michael Jace has been charged with the murder of his wife April, right. Photo / AP

US film and television actor Michael Jace was charged with shooting dead his wife during an argument at their Los Angeles home, prosecutors said.

The 51-year-old, famous for the police drama series The Shield but who also had big-screen parts including in Forrest Gump, was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday, when he allegedly confessed to police.

The actor called 911 on Monday evening and said his 40-year-old wife April had been shot and that he had pulled the trigger, according to the TMZ celebrity news website.

"I shot my wife," he told police from the family home in the Hyde Park neighborhood south of downtown Los Angeles, according to sources cited by TMZ.

Multiple shots were fired in the incident, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that his wife had returned home 10 to 15 minutes earlier after fetching the couple's sons from baseball practice.The two children involved, both under 10 years old, were taken into protective custody, said LAPD detective Raquel Cruz.

Jace was previously married to Jennifer Bitterman but they were divorced in 2002. His former wife accused him of domestic violence, according to court documents cited by the LA Times and TMZ.

Bitterman claimed that Jace threatened to kill her if she fought him over visitation rights, the LA Times said.

The actor filed for bankruptcy in 2011, citing debts of more than $500,000, while a neighbour told the newspaper that Jace had struggled to find work since the end of The Shield.

Ironically, April Jace worked as a financial aid counselor. The couple were due to celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary next month, according to her Facebook page.

Besides Forrest Gump, Jace appeared in Boogie Nights and Planet of the Apes.

The TV series The Shield followed a movie of the same name in which he played officer Julien Lowe. He remains in custody in lieu of $2 million bail, and was due to be arraigned later Thursday.

- AFP

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