Michael Jace Pleads Not Guilty to Murder

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Michael Jace, who portrayed a police officer on hit-series The Shield, has plead not guilty in the murder case of April Jace, his wife. April Jace was found with multiple gun shot wounds last month in their Hyde Park home on May 19. Michael Jace’s bond was set to $2 million and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 1. The judge also ordered that Jace have no contact with his two children unless it is through attorneys.

Fans have watched actor Michael Jace, 51, put handcuffs on alleged criminals on TV’s FX hit series The Shield, but roles were switched as Jace found himself being handcuffed by LAPD in May. His wife April Jace, 40, was found dead with multiple gun shot wounds in the hallway of their single-family three-bedroom home on the 5400 block of Brynhurst Avenue in Hyde Park. Neighbors claim that they heard shots being fired but LAPD also claim that Michael Jace made the frantic 911 call himself stating “I just shot my wife.”

A witness who lives near the home verified with LAPD that they reportedly saw Jace pull into his driveway Monday night, enter his home, left the door ajar and heard gun shots being fired moments later. The witness did not hear any yelling or fighting between the couple, though it was definite that shots were fired in the home.

Various neighbors claimed that they were unaware of any ongoing issues and conflicts between the couple because they seemed to be so happy all the time. Some even referred to them as “The Huxables” on the block. LAPD also mentioned that this call was the first call ever made to the home and there were no previous altercations or reports of domestic violence between the couple.

April Jace, who was married to the actor for nearly a decade worked as a financial aid counselor at Biola University in La Mirada, California and was the mother of three, two children with her husband and one child from a previous marriage. LAPD Lieutenant John Jenal stated that the two children, both 10, were found at the scene, thankfully unharmed, though clearly traumatized. The children are currently living with other relatives as required by child protective services. The third child was not home during the murder but is still also with relatives for the time being.

LAPD Detective Sal LaBarbera and other officials recovered a handgun from inside of the home. It is currently being tested to see if there are any traces of Jace’s DNA on the weapon and if it was indeed used on April Jace. There are no firearm possession records to Michael Jace’s name.

Although Michael Jace has no arrest record, he does have bad history with his ex-wife Jennifer Bitterman. Prior to their divorce in 1997, there were numerous times where Bitterman reported abuse and threats made by Jace during their marriage. Bitterman also reported a death threat made by Jace after the couple officialized visitations rights over their son. Since then, there have been no reports of violence between either marriage until now. Michael Jace pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to the murder of his wife. Jace will appear again in court on August 1 where investigators will testify on why they arrested him in a preliminary hearing.

By Tricia Manalansan

Sources:
CNN Entertainment
L.A. Times
CBS News

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