Actor Michael Brea was taken to a psychiatric hospital today after police were called to the apartment of Michael’s mother, Yannick Brea. The actor reportedly snapped and started yelling Bible verses and the word “repent” at his mother repeatedly while chasing her through the apartment before finally killing her with a samurai sword he was still holding when the police arrived. Michael, who appeared on episodes of “Ugly Betty” and in the move “Step Up 3D,” is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation at King’s County Hospital.
Brea is not the first star accused of murder. In 2001, Robert Blake was accused of murdering then-wife Bonny Lee Bakely. On the night in question, the pair dined at an Italian restaurant where Blake alleged he left the handgun that he had been carrying for his wife’s safety and his own. Blake claimed he returned to retrieve his gun from the restaurant, and, upon returning, found his wife had been shot. He then returned to the establishment to get help. Blake was found not guilty in 2005.
Another celebrity accused of murder is Phil Spector, who, in 2003, was involved in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson. Clarkson was reportedly found slumped over dead in a chair in the foyer of Spector’s mansion. The defense argued that the single gunshot was a result of a suicide, but in 2009 Spector was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Yet another celebrity who was accused of murder — and the case is well-known across the world — is O.J. Simpson. In 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were brutally stabbed to death outside of Brown Simpson’s condominium in Brentwood, Calif.. The pair had no ties prior to their murder. Goldman was reportedly returning a pair of sunglasses that Brown Simpson had left at the establishment where Goldman worked. A single leather glove matching that found at the crime scene was found outside of Simpson’s home and was used as a hinge to the entire case. Simpson was accused of murdering both his ex-wife and Goldman, but, in October of 1995, Simpson was acquitted. He was later made to pay damages in 2007 to the victims’ families.
Celebrity does have a big impact on cases like these. Where a normal individual would be able to afford a defense attorney who may be able to get him off, celebrities have enough money to hire the best attorneys available. Also, the fact that the media pay so much more attention to these cases makes it hard to find a completely impartial jury, which also serves to skew the trial.
Edecio Martinez, “Ugly Betty” Actor Kills Mother with Sword while Screaming Bible Passages, Says Report, www.cbsnews.com
Gary C. King,Who Murdered Bonny Lee Bakely, www.trutv.com
Staff Writer, Phil Spector Convicted of Second Degree Murder, www.jonathanturley.org
O.J. Simpson Trial