'Shield' actor's words used against him in murder trial | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Shield' actor's words used against him in murder trial

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2012 file photo, actor Michael Jace appears in Los Angeles. Closing arguments in Jace's murder trial are scheduled for Friday, May 27, 2016, with prosecutors advocating that "The Shield" actor be convicted of first-degree murder for fatally shooting his wife, April Jace, in May 2014. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
May 27, 2016 - 11:00 AM

LOS ANGELES - An actor who played a police officer on television is guilty of murder because of numerous statements he made about the killing, a prosecutor told a jury Friday.

Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef used several statements Michael Jace made to detectives, his brother-in-law and in text messages to his dead wife to make her case that "The Shield" actor should be convicted of first-degree murder.

Mokayef also cited testimony from Jace's 10-year-old son, who heard his father tell his mother, "'If you like running, then run to heaven.'" She said the statement showed Jace premeditated killing his wife of nine years. April Jace, 40, was an avid runner.

"Who is going to argue that this was not an intent to kill," Mokayef said. "Where else is heaven?"

Jace acknowledges shooting April Jace, and his attorneys have said he was caught up in the heat of passion during the shooting.

Mokayef urged the panel of six men and six women to reject that argument, telling jurors Jace fired a revolver that required him to pull a heavy trigger multiple times.

"I don't know how you can shoot somebody three times and call it an accident," Mokayef said in a blistering closing argument in which she called the actor a liar.

She asked the jury to see through Jace's tears after his arrest. "It wasn't for his wife. It wasn't for his kids. It was for himself," Mokayef said.

Michael Jace, who also had small roles in films such as "Boogie Nights," ''Forrest Gump" and the TV show "Southland," had been out of work for years, and financial struggles put a strain on their marriage.

April Jace, who had told her husband she wanted a divorce the day she died, was killed moments after returning to their home from a youth baseball game. Text messages presented during trial show Michael Jace had told his wife he had left their home, but instead he was waiting with a loaded handgun.

The Jaces argued in their home the day of the shooting and April Jace told her husband that she was scared in one text message sent hours before her death.

"I don't want you throwing things and breaking things and screaming lies to the boys," April Jace wrote in a message to her husband retrieved from her cellphone. "I am afraid to come home."

Michael Jace told detectives he grabbed the gun, which belonged to his wife's father, planned to kill himself but couldn't follow through. He also said he shot his wife the first time after she lunged at him.

"I was just angry," Michael Jace told investigators, according to a transcript released Thursday. "All I intended to do was shoot her in the leg. And then I shot her in the leg, and that was it."

If convicted of first-degree murder, Jace faces 50 years to life in prison.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.

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This story has been corrected to show that Michael Jace's name was misspelled Michel.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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