Michael Jace shot and killed his wife on April 19. Who is the actor and what led him to commit such a heinous crime?
Actor Michael Jace, best known for his role in the FX series, “The Shield,” has been charged for shooting and killing his wife. Jace, who has starred alongside Russell Crowe in "State of Play," played police officer Julien Lowe in FX’s “The Shield,” a series which ran between 2002-2008. He also appeared as Michael Jordan in a Fox TV Movie based on Jordan’s life, was a member of the Black Panthers in Oscar-award winning "Forest Gump" and had roles in successful shows "Law & Order" and "Cold Case."
"Forest Gump" actor Michael Jace shot and killed his wife on May 19
On May 19 Jace was detained by the LAPD after receiving a report concerning domestic violence. The police arrived at the Hyde Park, LA, residence to find Jace, who had called them, and the body of his wife April, who had been shot to death. Jace had stated in his call to the police, “I shot my wife.” Jace was then taken into police custody for questioning, where he confessed to shooting his wife on the record.
During a custody battle for his son with first wife Jennifer Bitterman in 2005, a friend of Bitterman's gave a sworn statement claiming that she had previously seen Jace be physically abusive towards his ex-wife in 1997. The statement, which was obtained by CNN, says that Jace had “choked and hit” Bitterman, as well as “[slamming] her against the wall while (their son) screamed in his crib next to her.” The friend described Jace as “raging and out of control…seeing the extend of his anger was one of the most terrifying things.” That this is not the first time Jace has been accused of being physically abusive towards his spouse makes the situation even sadder, as it could potentially have been predicted and prevented.
Jace had recently been in financial difficulty, filing for bankruptcy in 2011 and defaulting on the mortgage on his LA home, where he lived with April. The pair had married in 2003, a year after Jace had divorced Bitterman. Less than a year ago the couple had appeared happy, with April posting a photo of them together on her Facebook account, with the caption "Happy 10 yr anniversary to us!"
A source close to April, financial aid director Geoff Marsh, released a statement regarding her death: “April’s radiant personality brought great energy to the financial aid office. Her love for helping students and families and her great work ethic earned the respect and love of her coworkers. Her smiling face and helpful spirit will be missed by all.”