(Reuters) - Actor Michael Jace, best known for playing a policeman on the TV drama "The Shield," was sentenced on Friday to 40 years to life for shooting his wife dead in front of the couple's two children at their Los Angeles home, a court official said.
Jace, 53, received a credit of 754 days served for his time spent imprisoned since his arrest for the May 2014 killing of April Jace, Los Angeles criminal court clerk Melody Ramirez said.
Ramirez said family members of the victim, April Jace, gave emotional statements in court on Friday.
"My first thought on my mind most mornings is, 'Your daughter has been murdered,'" April Jace's mother Kay Henry told the court in tears, according to the Los Angeles Times. The paper said she added that when her daughter was killed, "we both died."
The actor was upset that his wife wanted a divorce when he shot her once in the back and twice more in the legs, according to prosecutors.
He then called authorities and reported that he had shot his wife, prosecutors said. The couple's sons, ages 8 and 5 at the time, watched the killing in the family's South Los Angeles home, prosecutors said. She was 40 years old when she was slain.
Jace's attorneys acknowledged in court that he shot his wife, arguing instead that the shooting was not premeditated. Jace was convicted of second-degree murder, an intentional killing that was not premeditated, in May.
Jace is best known for portraying police officer Julien Lowe, a religious Christian conflicted about his homosexuality, on the FX cable drama "The Shield" that ran from 2002 to 2008.
Aside from "The Shield," Jace had small parts in the films "Forrest Gump," "Boogie Nights" and "Planet of the Apes" as well as various supporting roles on television in the past two decades. He filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in 2011.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Andrew Hay)