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Johnny Lewis of 'Sons of Anarchy' identified as Los Feliz murder suspect; fellow actor speaks out

September 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The murder suspect who was found dead after allegedly killing a woman in Los Feliz was identified as an actor.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office says the suspect was 28-year-old Jonathan Kendrick Lewis, also known as Johnny Lewis. Sources say the suspect was an established actor, and an actor with the exact name and birthday as the suspect has made at least two appearances on the FX TV series "Sons of Anarchy."

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has a page for the actor, who, according to the website, has appeared in several TV shows and films. Lewis also has a public Facebook page, which links to a Wikipedia page for the actor.

According to police, officers responded to a residence on the 3600 block of Lowry Road after receiving reports of screams coming from inside the home Wednesday morning. When officers arrived, they found an elderly woman and a cat dead inside that home, which appeared to be ransacked. Lewis was found dead on the driveway of the residence.

Friends have identified the woman as 82-year-old Catherine Davis, a realtor who rented rooms to actors and producers in the entertainment industry who needed short-term housing in Los Angeles. Sources say Davis was part of the rental business Villa West. Police said Lewis was renting a room from Davis.

Police say Lewis beat the elderly woman and her cat to death, and then ran outside where he had an altercation with a neighbor and the neighbor's handyman, who were both beaten badly. Police say Lewis then ran back into the three-story home and either jumped or fell from a roof or a balcony. Exactly how Lewis and Davis died remains unknown.

"We're not sure what started this whole thing. We don't know if there was some kind of an argument or some kind of dispute," said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

Police are also not ruling out that Lewis was under the influence of drugs during the alleged murder.

"Any time we see someone behaving in this manner, we initially think that there might be some kind of drugs involved," said Smith.

Actor Emilio Rivera knew Lewis from the set of "Sons of Anarchy."

"I could never picture that coming from him so when I found out it was him, I was like, 'Wow,'" he said. "I got clean and sober 22 years ago and I know what I've seen on that and what I've done on drugs," said Rivera. "It can change your life right now. It can change a lot of lives."

Records show that Lewis was just released from jail on Friday, Sept. 21. He was behind bars on two separate convictions: Assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. He pleaded no contest to both charges.

Four months ago, a probation official expressed grave concern about his mental health. The report said, "the defendant suffers from some form of chemical dependency," said he had a mental issue and "Will continue to be a threat to any community he may reside."

In a report filed in Lewis's assault case, another probation officer wrote that his behavior was out of control and he needed professional counseling. Lewis's attorney said he suggested his client get help for his mental problems, but Lewis declined.

Kurt Sutter, series creator of "Sons of Anarchy" released a statement Thursday:

"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. I am deeply sorry that an innocent life had to be thrown into his destructive path."

Investigators are still piecing together what exactly happened in this murder, which is still under investigation. The motive remains unknown.

"Until we can determine by looking at the forensic evidence what happened inside of there, we really won't know what happened between these two people in the last few moments of their lives," said Smith.

An autospy for Davis concluded she died from blow to the head with a blunt object and from being strangled by her assailant. An autopsy for Lewis is pending.


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