brightcove.createExperiences(); Former The Shield actor Michael Jace was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison for shooting his wife to death last April in their Los Angeles home in front of the couple’s two young sons, PEOPLE confirms.
Jace, 53, was found guilty of second-degree murder after a week-long trial last month.
The actor, who portrayed LAPD officer Julien Lowe on the FX television series The Shield, was upset his wife, April Jace, wanted a divorce, Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef told jurors in opening statements.
Jace waited in their home and when April arrived, he shot her once in the back, the prosecutor said. The actor then shot her two more times in the legs in front of their sons, who were 8 and 5 at the time.
Jace called 911 himself and told the operator he shot his wife, according to evidence presented at trial. Her body was found inside the couple’s home along with their two children, who were unharmed.
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During the sentencing, Jace tearfully told his wife’s family members in court, “There is absolutely no justification for my actions on that night,” according to Associated Press. “I am profoundly sorry for the pain that I’ve caused everyone.”
“There was no premeditated anything,” he added.
Earlier, April Jace’s mother, Kay Henry, addressed the court, saying that on the night of her daughter’s death, “we both died.”
“My first thought on my mind most mornings is, ‘Your daughter has been murdered.’ Then I wonder about how I’ll do today without her,” she said. “I think about how my grandsons will navigate their teen years … Will they remember their mother and how much she loved them?”
In addition to The Shield, Jace also appeared in the show Southland as well as films Boogie Nights, Planet of the Apes, and Forrest Gump.
April was a school counselor at Biola University, a private Christian University, and after her death the school established a scholarship in her name. The scholarship awards “underrepresented students serving or planning to serve in an urban context who have experienced or witnessed violence in their home or neighborhood,” according to the school’s website.
“April was a very joyful person,” Jonathan Seruyange, associate director of financial aid at Biola University, previously told PEOPLE. “She was very caring. Very joyful. Always ready to joke and laugh with people. She was easy to get to know.”
“She was really well-loved across the campus,” said Seruyange. “Hearing about that kind of thing happening to someone well loved was a huge shock and something that our office all took very hard.”