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 dead 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 said.
Because of the circumstances, investigators were checking whether Lewis was on drugs or had mental health issues, Smith said.
Lewis was released from Los Angeles County Jail a week ago, according to court records.
He 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 records.
As a condition of his probation in both cases, he was ordered to stay away from narcotics.
Lewis' attorney Jonathan Mandel said he was "surprised" and "baffled" by what happened.
Mandel declined to immediately comment on Lewis's criminal history or possible drug problems because of client confidentiality.
Lewis' career spanned more than a decade, mainly in small roles. He played Ricky in the 2007 movie "AVPR: Aliens vs Predator — Requiem" and was Dennis "Chili" Childress for two seasons on TV's "The O.C."
He was on "Sons of Anarchy" in 2008 and 2009 before his character was killed.
Kurt Sutter, the show's creator and executive producer, tweeted news of Lewis' death Thursday:
"It was a tragic end for an extremely talented guy, who unfortunately had lost his way," Sutter wrote. "I wish I could say that I was shocked by the events last night, but I was not. I am deeply sorry that an innocent life had to be thrown into his destructive path."