Former "Ugly Betty" actor Michael Brea has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the death of his 55-year-old mother, according to multiple reports.
The 31-year-old Brea stands accused of holding his mother hostage and then slaying her with a 3-foot-long sword. Citing police sources, the New York Daily News reports that Brea was convinced his mother was possessed by Satan and that he yelled such statements as "Sinner! Sinner!" and "You never accepted Jesus" as neighbors listened in horror early Tuesday morning.
Neighbors in his Prospect Heights apartment eventually called the police. "I hear the brother chasing her [his mother] through the house and he's just saying a bunch of [Bible] passages like 'Repent, Repent, Repent,' " neighbor Gregory Clare told New York's WPIX. "I heard him chasing her through the house and I hear a loud scream, and so I have my father call the cops, call 911."
Officers responding to the call reportedly encountered an extremely bloody scene and the butchered body of Brea's mother. Brea himself was said to be clutching a bible and a sword (initial reports claimed it was a samurai sword, but the Daily News now says it was a Masonic ceremonial sword). The actor was aggressive and had to be Tasered before being placed on a stretcher and brought to Kings County Hospital for psychological evaluation.
WPIX reports that neighbors described Brea and his mother as "quiet people," and that Brea showed no previous indication of mental illness. The actor has had roles on "Ugly Betty" and, most recently, in this summer's "Step Up 3D."