Actor Michael Jace, centre, appears in court for an arraignment hearing with his lawyers Jason Sias, left, and Peter Carr in Los Angeles on June 18, 2014. Photo: Nick Ut

Los Angeles - Actor Michael Jace, who starred in the US police series The Shield, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in Los Angeles to shooting his wife to death, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Jace, 51, was charged with murdering his wife, April Jace, 40, on May 19 following a domestic dispute.

April was shot multiple times and found dead on Monday in a hallway of the family home in the modest Hyde Park neighbourhood.

The couple's two sons, both under 10, were in the house during the attack, but police said it was unclear if they had seen the attack. They have been placed with relatives.

Detectives were investigating whether the couple's financial problems or other marital difficulties played a role in the killing, which police said occurred during an argument.

Jace called the emergency dispatcher, said he’d shot his wife and was at the home when officers arrived, Detective Dean Vinluan has said.

Vinluan said there had been no reports of domestic violence at the home. However, the actor had been under financial pressure in recent years. He declared bankruptcy in 2011 and had been delinquent on payments as recently as December.

Jace’s six-year stint on The Shield ended in 2008 when the show was cancelled.

Besides The Shield, Jace played minor roles in the films Forrest Gump (1994) and Planet of the Apes (2001). - Sapa-dpa, Sapa-AP and IOL