‘Sons of Anarchy’ actor dead in Hollywood murder mystery

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By Alan Duke


LOS ANGELES (CNN) — The violent deaths of “Sons of Anarchy” actor Johnny Lewis and an elderly woman in an affluent Hollywood neighborhood Wednesday is a murder mystery for Los Angeles police.

Lewis, 28, whose acting resumé included “The O.C.” and “Criminal Minds,” died in the driveway of a three-story home in the Los Feliz neighborhood near Griffith Park, apparently after climbing on the roof and falling, police said Thursday.

Police, responding to a call from neighbors saying they heard screams for help from a woman inside the house, found Katherine Davis, 81, dead in what a police spokesman called a “gruesome scene.”

“It appears that some type of altercation occurred inside the house, resulting in the death of the woman, then this individual ran outside and had an altercation with a couple of neighbors,” LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told reporters.

Autopsies will be conducted Thursday on the bodies of Lewis and Davis, Los Angeles County Coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said.

Police would not comment on the possibility of drugs being involved in the case.

Lewis is credited with playing Kip “Half Sack” Epps in 26 episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” in the FX Network drama’s first two seasons, according to the Internet Movie Database. His character was killed off in the finale of season two.

“Sons” creator Kurt Sutter, in an extended Twitter posting Thursday, called Lewis’ death “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’s tweet said. “I am deeply sorry that an innocent life had to be thrown into his destructive path. Yes, it’s day of mourning, but it’s also a day of awareness and gratitude. Sadly, some of us carry the message by dying.”

Sutter told TV writer Alan Sepinwall in an interview published in December 2009 that “Johnny wasn’t happy on the show.”

“Creatively, he really wanted out of his contract,” Sutter told Sepinwell. “We had ongoing conversations, and we decided we’d find some noble way for him to go.”

Lewis played Dennis “Chili” Childress in nine episodes of “The O.C.” in 2005 and 2006, according to IMDb.com.

His last work was in an independent movie, “186 Dollars to Get Out,” which was scheduled to release this month, the IMDb.com listings said.

Lewis — whose full name is Jonathan Kendrick Lewis — was born and raised in Los Angeles, although he holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship, according to his IMDb biography.

CNN’s Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.