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'The Shield's' Michael Jace Arrested After Wife's Shooting Death

By Brett Snider, Esq. on May 20, 2014 11:48 AM

"The Shield" actor Michael Jace has been arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing his wife April Jace.

Jace, who played a police officer on the popular FX television series, allegedly called police Monday night and told law enforcement that he had "pulled the trigger" and that "I shot my wife," reports TMZ.

What remains for this TV cop-turned-murder suspect?

TV Cop Accused of Killing Wife

Jace, 50, allegedly called 911 around 8:30 p.m. to tell the operator that his wife had been shot in their Los Angeles home... by him. TMZ also reported that the actor's two young children witnessed the fatal shooting.

Although best known for his work in "The Shield," Jace also had roles in "Boogie Nights," "Forrest Gump," and "Planet of the Apes." After being arrested Monday night, Jace was reportedly booked for murder Tuesday morning.

California Murder Laws

As "The Shield" fans might remember, California Penal Code Section 187 deals with murder. No matter if Jace is charged with first degree or second degree murder, this is the law he will have been charged under.

There are very little details about the situation leading up to Jace allegedly pulling the trigger, but these circumstances will make a huge difference in the legal road ahead.

1st- or 2nd-Degree Murder?

Both first and second degree murder in California typically involve an intent to kill which leads to another person's death, but what separates the two? Here's a general overview:

  • First degree murder. This is reserved for particularly heinous crimes committed with premeditation and deliberation. It also covers deaths that occur during the commission of a dangerous felony (i.e., felony murder).
  • Second degree murder. If there isn't any premeditation or deliberation present, a defendant who intentionally kills another person may be charged with second degree murder.

A defendant found guilty of first degree murder can be eligible for the death penalty, while second degree murder can only land a convict in jail for life.

It's certainly too early to tell which way the prosecution will choose to move on Jace's case. When more details surrounding the shooting emerge, it may become clearer which way the legal winds will blow.

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