(FOX 11) - Actor Michael Jace once played a police officer in the TV show "THE SHIELD" but he's now wrapped up in a real-life crime drama of his own. He is now being charged with murder.
Prosecutors say Michael Jace and his wife, April, had financial problems, Michael had been out of work, and April wanted a divorce
Neither side disputes Michael killed his wife -- he said so during a 911 call.
But why he did it will likely be at the center of this case
In opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors tried making the case April's death was a result of her husband's obsession and need for control.
They say the day of her death on May 19, 2014, her husband texted her he was suspicious she was having an affair.
She texted back she was afraid to come home.
Less than two hours before her death, prosecutors say Michael texted April he had been drinking, and he wasn't home.
But prosecutors say in reality, he was waiting for her at home with a loaded revolver.
They say he texted her minutes before, "the tongue has the power of life and death."
In a written statement to police, Michael said April lunged at him and he had to push her away.
Prosecutors say he later changed his story when he spoke to his wife's half brother - stating what happened was an accident.
Prosecutors say moments before Michael shot April in her legs, his sons remember him saying, "You like to run so much, why don't you try running to heaven."
They showed an image of her lying dead on the ground to jurors.
The defense made their opening statements Tuesday too - but theirs was surprisingly brief in comparison- less than five minutes.
Saying the case isn't about who did it or how it was done. But why.
The defense wrote the words "premed" and "mindset" on a white board, saying the case would center around those two words.
If convicted, Jace faces 50 years to life behind bars.
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