'Ugly Betty' Actor Killed Mother With Ornate Sword, Cops Say
Nov. 25. 2010
By RUSSELL GOLDMAN (@GoldmanRussell)
A bit actor who appeared on the show "Ugly Betty" stabbed his mother to death with a 3-foot-long ceremonial sword, while shouting references to the Bible and Freemasonry, police and witnesses said on Wednesday.
Cops were called early Tuesday morning to the Brooklyn home of Michael Brea, 31, and his mother, Yannick Brea, after neighbors awoke to the woman's shrill cries as, they believe, she was being slashed to death. Police arrived to find a bloodbath and the actor raving and barricaded in a bedroom.
"What woke me up was a shriek of his mother. That's what woke me up," neighbor Vernal Bent told ABC News affiliate WABC.
Bent said he heard the man yelling references to the Bible and Freemasonry.
"Like Jerusalem, Jesus, Aaron. ... Then the last like line I caught from him was the greatest architect of the universe," Bent said.
Freemasons sometimes refer to God as the "great architect of the universe." Some local media have reported that the sword was an ornate saber used in Masonic ceremonies.
But police would only confirm its length to ABCNews.com, declining to comment on whether Brea had any connections to the secret fraternal organization.
Other neighbors heard Brea yelling "repent, repent, sinner, sinner" and "you never accepted Jesus."
Police said they entered the home and found Brea clutching the blood-covered sword and still rambling. Cops Tased him and called a special unit that handles the arrests of people believed to be psychologically disturbed.
Brea was removed from the house on a stretcher and taken to the psychiatric ward at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. He has been charged with murder and weapons possession.
His family and neighbors said he had no history of violence and police said he had no criminal record.
"I didn't expect that. Very nice kid. I am very shocked," said Serge Marcel, Brea's uncle.
Neighbor Oscar Peters told WABC: "It's not someone who you can look at and say it's a monster walking the road, someone who can flip anytime. It's not like that."
Brea shared the his apartment in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, with his mother and his twin brother, Marcel, according to the New York Daily News.
Brea Appeared in 'Step Up 3-D'
The Brooklyn prosecutor's office said there is "no timetable for arraignment, because he is still in the hospital."
Brea appeared on the ABC show "Ugly Betty" and recently was in the movie "Step Up 3-D."