LOS ANGELES — Court records show “Sons of Anarchy” actor Johnny Lewis was released from jail a week before being found dead in his driveway after police say he apparently killed his landlady.
Los Angeles police said Thursday that the 28-year-old Lewis is the only suspect in the death of 81-year-old Catherine Davis, who was discovered slain inside the hillside home in Los Feliz.
Authorities say they are investigating Davis’ death and that it appears she was beaten. They say the actor died Wednesday after climbing atop the home and either jumping or falling to the ground.
Lewis played Kip “Half-Sack” Epps in the FX show.
“Sons of Anarchy” Actor Found Dead:
Lewis pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and attempted burglary in separate cases this year, according to records.
He enrolled in a drug, alcohol and psychiatric treatment program over the summer, the records show.
Lewis was released from county jail Sept. 21.
As a condition of his probation in both cases, he was ordered not to use narcotics.
Lewis’ attorney Jonathan Mandel said Thursday he was “surprised” and “baffled” by the deaths.
Mandel declined to immediately comment on Lewis’s criminal history or possible drug problems pending consideration of client confidentiality requirements.
Before Lewis was discovered Wednesday morning, neighbors reported hearing a woman screaming in the home, said Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith.
Neighbors also told authorities that a man had jumped a fence, assaulted a painter and homeowner next door and jumped back.
It’s unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved, but police are investigating that possibility based on the circumstances of the crime, Smith said.
Lewis had a career spanning 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.”
His role in “Sons of Anarchy” came in 2008 and 2009.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.