The New York City actor who eviscerated his mother with a ceremonial Freemason sword two days before Thanksgiving believes he did not kill the woman who raised him but the demon who possessed her, according to a news report.
In an interview with the New York Daily News from the psychiatric ward of the hospital police brought him to Tuesday, Michael Brea, 31, said he heard voices telling him to kill his mother and he believed he was doing God's work.
"I didn't kill her, I killed the demon inside her," Brea told the paper. "So be it. It was the work of God."
Brea was arrested early Tuesday morning after neighbors called police to the Brooklyn apartment he shared with his mother, Yannick Brea, 55, when they heard the woman shrieking in pain as her son allegedly slashed her with the 3-foot-long sword.
The interview he gave to the Daily News was conducted from the hospital room where he has been kept since his arrest. The paper said Brea was not handcuffed at the time.
Brea's family members have said the actor had no previous history of mental illness but he came across in the interview as severely disturbed and delusional.
The actor, who played a bit part in the ABC show "Ugly Betty," said he began having paranoid visions and hearing voices days after joining a Masonic lodge in Harlem.
He said he joined the Prince Hall Masonic Temple last week where he was approached by a man who tried to curse him.
Soon after, he began having conversations with subway passengers who, he said, told him to kill his mother. On the night before he allegedly killed the woman, he said he received a message from God in a dream.
"I said, 'God, is my time on earth over?' I heard a voice say, 'Yes, Michael, today is your last day.' I asked if I could say goodbye to my family," he said.
Brea Court Date Pending
Police say Brea stole the sword from the Masonic lodge but Brea told the paper the "powerful sword" was a family heirloom.
Neighbors described hearing Brea raving, yelling things from inside his apartment before the murder, "like Jerusalem, Jesus, and Aaron. ... Then the last like line I caught from him was the greatest architect of the universe," Vernal Bent, a neighbor, told WABC.
The "greatest architect of the universe" is a Masonic reference to God.
He was heard yelling "repent, repent" and calling his mother a sinner.
"I asked, 'Do you believe in God?' She said, 'No, Michael no,' and began screaming. "I began slashing her like this," he said, raising his arms up.
Brea told the paper he chased his mother around the apartment slashing her as she left behind a trail of blood.
"I didn't want to kill her right away. I wanted to give her time to get right with God," he said.
"I was slashing my mom and I heard the police knocking on the door, yelling, 'Michael, open up, Michael, open up,' but I knew they wouldn't open the door and stop me because the spirits were protecting me," he said.
"I just kept cutting her. No one could stop me. I was doing the work of God."
Police entered Brea's home Tuesday and found him in a back bedroom covered in his mother's blood.
Police Tasered Brea and called a special unit that handles cases involving individuals believed to be mentally ill.
He was taken to the Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. Prosecutors told ABCNews.com a court date and arraignment are pending approval from the hospital.