msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/29/2010 1:19:44 PM ET 2010-11-29T18:19:44

An actor who once had a small part on "Ugly Betty" was charged Tuesday with stabbing his mother to death with a 3-foot sword in her home after a fight, police said.

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Officers responding to a call of a family dispute found 55-year-old Yannick Brea kneeling in the bathroom of her Brooklyn apartment at about 2:20 a.m. She had cuts to her head and was pronounced dead at the scene, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

"In a bedroom was her son ... with a 3-foot sword," Kelly said.

The son, Michael Brea, 31, was arrested on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Kings County Hospital, and police didn't know if he had an attorney. No phone number was listed at the address provided by police.

There had been a loud fight, Kelly said, but he didn't know what caused the altercation.

Neighbors told reporters they could hear screams outside and inside the building in the Prospect Heights neighborhood.

"I heard this wild screaming," Gregory Clare, who lived in the building, told the Daily News of New York. He said he heard screams of "'Repent, repent, sinner, sinner,' over and over again," and "'You never accepted Jesus.'"

Police also said a Bible was found in the apartment, but Kelly wasn't sure where.

Michael Brea has no prior arrests, and Kelly was not sure if he had a psychiatric history. No previous domestic violence incidents had been reported at the home, police said.

Brea once had a bit part on ABC's now-canceled show "Ugly Betty."

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"I had just dozed off to go to sleep and then I woke up to somebody screaming," neighbor Bernard Bent told WPIX-TV. "It sounded like lady's voice and after a while I just didn't hear the woman's voice again."

Citing website BelFim.com, WPIX said Brea had appeared as a dancer in film "Step Up 3-D".

He appeared in a 2009 episode of "Ugly Betty," the website said.

"I remember growing up and my mother was always feeding people who were less fortunate," Brea is quoted as saying on BelFim.com. "My parents raised me to always share and to give charity in the name of God."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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