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Aspiring actor Michael Brea held on suspicion of beheading mom with Masonic sword

November 23, 2010 |  7:26 pm


Aspiring actor Michael Brea is a suspect in a bizarre and terrifying New York crime more befitting "Law & Order" than his claim-to-fame appearance on an episode of "Ugly Betty." 

Police said Brea, 31, is suspected of killing his mother Tuesday with a 3-foot sword. Though they are now describing victim Yannick Brea, 55, as having been stabbed several times in the head, earlier in the day officers on the scene described an "extremely bloody" situation and said her head had been cut off.

A neighbor in the Brooklyn apartment complex called police shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday to report an altercation, with a potentially unhinged Michael Brea "chasing [his mother] through the house and he's just saying a bunch of [Bible] passages like, 'Repent, Repent, Repent.' " Police found the apartment barricaded, according to the New York Post, which said a specialty unit knocked down the door around 2:20 a.m.

Yannick Brea, who'd been heard yelling for help when police were first called, was prounounced dead at the scene.

Police needed a taser to subdue Brea, whom they found in the apartment with the sword. He was taken into custody, then transported to a nearby hospital for a psychological exam and was to be turned over to the NYPD when the exam was complete. Brea had no previous arrests, police said.

The former Subway franchise owner and aspiring actor — he also appeared in the movie "Step Up 3D" — was a low-level Freemason, the Post reported; a ceremonial Masonic sword was the weapon used in the attack, a police source said.


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— Matt Donnelly 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Michael Brea in a skydiving video posted Nov. 19. Credit: YouTube.