In the 10 months prior to the violent murder of his landlord, Johnny Lewis had been arrested repeatedly, attended counseling, and had been jailed. Court records indicate his probation officer had serious concerns about his mental health and the safety of those around him, saying the actor was “out of control.”
Police say Catherine Davis, 81, was killed by Lewis around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 26, after he went back to her home following an altercation with neighbors. Her residence had been ransacked and a dead cat was found inside. Subsequent to that, he was found dead in the driveway of the location, having fallen on his head from a balcony or roof.
The neighbors who witnessed some of Lewis’ behavior described him to reporters as having “superhuman strength,” prompting reports that he may have been under the influence of a new synthetic drug dubbed “Smiles.”
He was released from jail just five days prior to his death.
According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, court records indicate he had been arrested in the months before the attack for breaking into an occupied home in Santa Monica, as well as resisting arrest. He was also sent to drug rehabilitation and treatment for mental illness.
In Jan. 2012, Lewis was involved in an incident in which he hit two men in their heads with a bottle.
A probation officer wrote in March, “Obviously defendant’s behavior is out of control and needs counseling afforded by a professional.”
According to a probation report from May 17, “the defendant suffers from some form of chemical dependency, mental health issue and a lack of permanent housing. Given this, (Lewis) will continue to be a threat to any community he may reside.”
Jonathan Mandel, Lewis’ attorney, spoke to the Press Gazette, saying his client had mental problems that came to light recently. He said he urged Lewis to obtain treatment, but the actor declined to do so.
For two seasons, Lewis played the role of Kip “Half-Sack” Epps on “Sons of Anarchy.”
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