Michael Jace was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday (20th May) after reportedly shooting his wife and confessing to the emergency services. Financial troubles appear to have plagued the actor for a number of years and legal documents suggest this is not the first time he has been involved in an incident of domestic violence.
Michael Jace’s reported financial troubles may be at the heart of the argument he had with his wife shortly before she died, according to reports in numerous media outlets.
Michael Jace has been arrested was fatally shooting his wife April.
Jace, best known for his role as Julien Lowe in crime drama The Shield, was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning (20th May) by detectives outside his Los Angeles home. Jace called the emergency services and, according to NBC Los Angeles, confessed to shooting his wife, April. He met police outside his home shortly after 8.30pm on Monday (19th May). Jace was detained by police and arrested at around 3am the following morning after being taken into police custody.
Jace seemingly shot his wife in front of, or in the vicinity of, his two young children after the couple argued. The children are both under the age of ten and are currently being cared for by a family member, the LAPD told reporters. Of the children, LAPD Detective Sal LaBarbera said "It's a grieving process for both children. They're without their mom and their dad is in jail for the murder of their mother."
The family appeared to be happy as images April posted on her Facebook page last year attest to. They couple were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary and appeared very much together. Neighbours also said they always presumed the family was happy. One neighbour, speaking to the same media outlet, said I just thought they was the perfect family. That's why I'm so shocked.”
However, beneath the façade there may have been real financial difficulties. TMZ reports Jace was in serious financial trouble, as in 2011 he filed paperwork in order to restructure and reduce his mortgage payments. The mortgaged house was the one he was arrested at on Tuesday. Jace appears to have been bankrupt and, still owing a whopped $411, 000 on his house, had failed to pay his mortgage for a number of months. There has also been the suggestion that Jace struggled to find acting work following his stint on The Shield.
Police have ruled the killing one of domestic violence and this is not the first incident Jace has been involved in. According to reports, Jace violently attacked his first wife, Jennifer Bitterman, in 1996. A witness was brought forward when divorce proceedings were underway in 2003. The witness in question said Jace “was raging out of control and seeing the extent of his anger was one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen." Although Jace denied his wife’s recollection of the incident, he did admit he was “guilty of overstepping physical boundaries.”
Numerous people who knew Jace's wife April spoke to NBC fondly of her. April was 40 years old at the time of her death and worked as a counsellor in the financial aid department at a local university. Her colleagues have fondly remembered her and a statement was issued by her workplace shortly after the news broke. The financial department said "We are obviously shocked and saddened by this terrible news, to lose a wonderful colleague, mother and friend." Whilst others she worked with said April’s "love for helping students and families with her great work ethic earned the respect and love of her co-workers. Her smiling face and helpful spirit will be missed by all."
Timeline of Events
Jace marries Jennifer Bitterman.
A friend of Bitterman’s witnesses a violent altercation between Jace and Bitterman.
Jace begins work on The Shield.
Bitterman and Jace divorce.
Jace marries April.
The Shield wraps up.
Jace files legal paperwork enabling him to reduce his mortgage payments.
Legal documents suggests Jace was in serious financial trouble once more.
Jace and April celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. April posts happy family photographs on Facebook.
-19th May 2014
Jace shoots April at approximately 8.30pm and calls police.
-20th May 2014
Jace is arrested by police at approximately 3am after reportedly confessing to shooting April.