Actor Michael Jace (C) appears in court for his arraignment on murder charges June 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Actor Michael Jace appears in court for his arraignment on murder charges June 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

*Actor Michael Jace, appearing in a Los Angeles court Wednesday, entered a not guilty plea in the slaying of his wife, reports the AP.

His attorney did not object when the judge set bond at $2 million and ordered Jace, 51, to have no contact with his two children.

A preliminary hearing, in which investigators are expected to testify about why they arrested Jace for the May 19 shooting death, is set for August 1.

April Jace, 40, died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” according to preliminary autopsy results. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled the death a homicide, Deputy Chief Coroner Ed Winter said.

Actor Michael Jace appears in Los Angeles Court for an arraignment on May 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Jace, a cast member of the television drama "The Shield,'' was charged with murder for allegedly shooting his wife April Jace during an argument at their home

Actor Michael Jace appears in Los Angeles Court for an arraignment on May 22, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Jace, a cast member of the television drama “The Shield,” was charged with murder for allegedly shooting his wife April Jace during an argument at their home

Jace, who played a Los Angeles cop in TV’s “The Shield,” wore a yellow jail jumpsuit and was kept handcuffed while in a glass holding area for Wednesday’s hearing.

Police found April Jace shot to death in her south Los Angeles home the evening of May 19, Detective Lyman Doster said. Michael Jace called 911 to report that his wife had been shot, Detective Dean Vinluan said, adding that he “was on the phone with the operator.” Neighbors who heard gunshots also called 911, he said.

“At this moment, the motive of the murder is believed to be domestic violence,” a police statement a day after the killing said.

Two children were in the Hyde Park-area home when their mother was shot, Vinluan said

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Investigators have found no reports of domestic violence between the husband and wife at their residence, another Los Angeles Police Department detective said.

A woman described as a close friend of Jace’s first wife said in a sworn statement that she witnessed Jace physically abusing his wife in 1997. The declaration was in court records from Jace’s 2005 custody case concerning his son with Jennifer Bitterman.

Jace “choked and hit” his wife and “slammed her against the wall while (their infant son) screamed in his crib next to her,” Maria De Le Vegas said in the sworn declaration obtained by CNN.

Jace “was raging and out of control, and seeing the extent of his anger was one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen,” she said.

Jace appeared to suffer severe financial strain in recent years, according to court documents obtained by CNN. The actor filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in March 2011, citing $500,000 in debts and an annual income of around $80,000 from residuals from his TV and film work, the documents said.

 

Jace had defaulted on the $411,000 mortgage on the south Los Angeles home where his wife died, according to the documents.

He married April Jace in June 2003, a year after divorcing his first wife, with whom he shared a son who is now a teen.

April Jace had worked for the past year as a financial aid counselor at Biola University, a private school in La Mirada, California, according to the school.

“We are obviously shocked and saddened by this terrible news, to lose a wonderful colleague, mother and friend,” Biola President Barry Corey said in a written statement.

“April’s radiant personality brought great energy to the financial aid office,” financial aid director Geoff Marsh said. “Her love for helping students and families and her great work ethic earned the respect and love of her coworkers. Her smiling face and helpful spirit will be missed by all.”