John W. Tumelty Logo



Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

View More Criminal Defense ResultsView More DWI Defense Results Free Consultation

“The Shield” Actor Convicted of Murdering Wife

Michael Jace, an actor best known for playing a police officer on the critically acclaimed TV show “The Shield,” is headed to prison after being convicted of murdering his wife.

A Los Angeles jury recently convicted 53-year-old Jace on second degree murder charges. The verdict came at the end of a weeklong trial that drew intense media coverage, largely because of Jace’s celebrity status. In addition to starring on “The Shield,” Jace also had roles in popular Hollywood films like Forrest Gump, Boogie Nights and Planet of the Apes.

Although Jace claimed that he did not know what he was doing when he fired the gun that killed April, his wife, prosecutors said that Jace intentionally tortured the victim before murdering her. At trial, the prosecution showed evidence that Jace used the revolver to shoot the victim once in her back and twice in her legs. Moreover, said prosecutors, Jace taunted his wife while shooting her in the legs.

It is believed that Jace was upset with his wife because he suspected her of having an affair with another man. (No evidence of the victim having an affair was presented at the homicide trial.) He was also reportedly worried that she planned to divorce him.

During the trial, Jace’s criminal defense lawyer said that the defendant committed the homicide “in the heat of passion.” As a result, argued Jace’s attorney, the actor should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter, not second degree murder.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury disagreed: they convicted Jace on the more serious charge of murder.

When Jace returns to the Los Angeles courtroom for formal sentencing, it is possible that he will receive a punishment of life imprisonment, with a minimum mandatory term of incarceration of 40 years.

For more information about this case, read the article, “Former ‘Shield’ Actor Convicted of Second Degree Murder.”


If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault or any other violent crime in New Jersey, you should talk to a qualified criminal defense attorney. John W. Tumelty is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight tirelessly to defend you against your criminal charges and help you avoid the most severe penalties. Contact Mr. Tumelty today for a free consultation about your case.

Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields