'Sons of Anarchy' Actor, a Suspect in Killing, Dies

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Byline: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- An actor whose character died a violent death on the TV drama "Sons of Anarchy" plunged to his death in a driveway after apparently killing his landlady and attacking neighbors near Hollywood, police said Thursday.

Johnny Lewis, who played Kip "Half-Sack" Epps in the FX show, is the only suspect in the death of 81-year-old Catherine Davis, according to Los Angeles police.

Authorities found them dead Wednesday morning after neighbors reported a woman screaming inside the home, Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.

The home was ransacked, glass was shattered and a dead cat was found.

Neighbors said a man had jumped a fence and assaulted a painter and homeowner next door.

The body of Lewis, 28, was found in the driveway. He could have jumped or fallen from the roof, garage or balcony, or tumbled down stairs from a patio area, Smith said.

It appears Davis had been beaten, Smith added.

Because of the circumstances, investigators were checking whether Lewis was on drugs or had mental health issues, Smith said.

Lewis' attorney Jonathan Mandel said the actor did have serious mental issues that seemed to surface fairly recently. He said Lewis' parents and others had tried desperately to help him.

"Johnny Lewis had a lot of problems, a lot of mental problems," Mandel said by phone Thursday. "I recommended treatment for him but he declined it."

He continued, saying: "I give a lot of credit to his parents. They were really strong in trying to help him out. They really went to bat for him, but I guess they just couldn't do enough."

Lewis was released from Los Angeles County Jail a week ago, according to court records.

He had pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and attempted burglary in separate cases this year and was enrolled in a drug, alcohol and psychiatric treatment program over the summer, according to the records. …