Johnny Lewis, the young actor best known for a role on the hit motorcycle club series "Sons of Anarchy," had been released from jail less than a week before he was found dead outside a Los Angeles house along with his elderly landlady.
Police said Lewis is a suspect in the woman's death.
The L.A. coroner's office has identified the male found by police outside a home in the Los Feliz neighborhood on Wednesday as 28-year-old Jonathan Kendrick Lewis, also known as Johnny Lewis. Officers responding to a report of a screaming woman came upon Lewis' body outside of the home on the driveway, while the body of Catherine Davis, 81, was found inside the residence.
"He appeared to have died from some type of fall, either from the stairway, or from the balcony, or from one of the roofs," LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told KABC.
The cause of the woman's death has not yet been released, but Smith said that she had suffered major trauma. Lewis is considered a suspect in the homicide investigation. The LAPD said Lewis was renting a room from Davis.
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Actor Johnny Lewis of "Lovely Molly" poses... View Full Size
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According to jail records, Lewis was arrested Aug. 8 on felony charges. Lewis pled no contest to one count of assault with a deadly weapon, was sentenced to a year in Los Angeles County jail with three years of probation, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Jail records, however, show that Lewis was released from custody on Friday. It's not clear why he was released.
A neighbor and a handyman were badly beaten in a confrontation they had with the suspect in Wednesday's incident. Police also said that the body of a cat was found in Davis' house.
Greg Sarian, a neighbor of the home owned by the woman, said that she rented out rooms to boarders. He said that he became alarmed when he heard screams Wednesday morning.
"'Help, help,' from both sides, man and woman," Sarian said. "I was praying to God. 'God,' I said, 'Clean up this mess here, because this is evil place.' Evil place. All kind of people, by the way, coming, different people, coming, going couple of days, disappearing, coming, other people."
Kurt Sutter, the creator of "Sons of Anarchy" released a statement today regarding Lewis' death.
"It was a tragic end for an extremely talented guy, who unfortunately had lost his way. I wish I could say that I was shocked by the events last night, but I was not," Sutter wrote. "I am deeply sorry that an innocent life had to be thrown into his destructive path."
Lewis, who began acting in his teenage years, worked steadily in television in roles on "Boston Public," "American Dreams" and "The O.C." His career picked up steam when he landed the role of Kip 'Half Sack' Epps on two seasons of "Sons of Anarchy" and appeared alongside Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart in "The Runaways" in 2010.