Michael Jace, whose TV and film credits include The Shield, Southland, Forest Gump, The Replacements, State of Play, and Michael Jordan: An American Hero, has been charged with fatally shooting his wife in their south Los Angeles, California home.  Police found April Jace, 40, shot to death on Monday night. Michael Jace, 51, called 911 to report his wife had been shot. Neighbors also called 911 after hearing shooting.  Police believe the motive was domestic violence. Investigators detained Jace at the home and then booked him on homicide charges the next day. There is no history of domestic violence between the couple. However, in a 2005 custody case concerning Jace’s son with his first wife, Jennifer Bitterman, records show that witnesses testified that he physically abused her in 1997.

Jace “choked and hit” Jennifer Bitterman and “slammed her against the wall”, said Maria De Le Vegas in her sworn affidavit. The woman also said that she witnessed at least 3 more incidents when she lived with the couple between 1996 and 1997. During the divorce and custody proceedings, Jace’s first wife painted him as unreliable and rage-driven. His first wife alleged that he threatened to kill her if they fought over visitation rights of their son.

Jace married April in June of 2003, a year after divorcing his first wife.  Jace starred in the FX police drama The Shield, which was the biggest and longest role in his career of more than two decades. He played Julien Lowe, a rookie officer who rose through the ranks of the inner city L.A. police precinct to detective during the 6 years the show was on air.  The L.A. Times is reporting that Jace confessed to shooting his wife around 8:30 p.m. at their home. April Jace was a financial aid employee at Biola Unviersity. She had just gotten home from picking their sons up from baseball practice. Some neighbors reported hearing arguing before multiple gunshots.

The actor filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in 2011. At the time, he was almost $1 million in debt. Much of his debt lay in his home where he owed more than it was worth. More than $20,000 was back taxes for the year 2008. He also struggled to find steady work after The Shield stopped airing.

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