Born in Los Angeles, California, on October 29, 1983, Jonathan Kendrick “Johnny” Lewis started acting at a young age. Raised in the North Hollywood and Sherman Oaks areas of Los Angeles, Johnny Lewis was the middle child of Michael and Divona Lewis. His mother who supported his aspirations took him to auditions from the age of six.
Upon completing his schooling, Lewis left his family home at the age of 18, driven by his desire to be an established actor.
Johnny appeared in many movie roles, however, it was his role as prospect biker Kip “Half-Sack” Epps in the first two seasons of the FX series Sons of Anarchy that truly propelled him to widespread recognition.
Accident and Psychosis
On October 30, 2011, Lewis was involved in a high-speed motorcycle accident that resulted in head injuries. Despite recommendations for an MRI, Lewis refused to undergo the tests, even though his father had scheduled them twice.
Following the accident, Lewis began exhibiting strange and irrational behavior, which led to his subsequent problems with the authorities.
In January 2012, Johnny became violent for the first time. While staying at his parents’ condominium, he unlawfully entered the adjacent unit. Two men in the apartment confronted him and asked him to leave, instead of leaving, he engaged in a physical fight with the men striking them with an empty Perrier bottle.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with trespassing, burglary, and assault, leading to his confinement at the Twin Towers jail. However, during his time there, engaged in several self-harms that made the authorities transfer him to a psychiatric ward, where he remained under observation for 72 hours.
Sadly, his condition continued to deteriorate. In the subsequent two months, Lewis made multiple suicide attempts, experienced heightened sensitivity to light, disabled his parents’ fuse box, physically assaulted someone in a yogurt shop, walked into the ocean while fully clothed, and attempted to break into a woman’s apartment.
In an attempt to avoid trial, Lewis’ family and attorneys initially advocated for rehab to address his marijuana addiction. However, when counselors rejected this approach, they shifted the focus to rehab for alcoholism instead.
Lewis’s condition seemed to have improved and he was granted a provisional out-patient status in early August 2012, after agreeing to be detained for “time served.” He believed he would spend just a few days in jail. However, his stay in jail was prolonged to two months during which his mental health continued to deteriorate. Ultimately, Lewis was released from jail on September 21, 2012.
The End of the Young Actor
To see that his son makes a quick recovery from the mental turmoil he had been plagued with, Lewis’s father made provision for him to stay at the Writers’ Villa, a bed-and-breakfast that hosted aspiring performers, directors, and writers in her home.
At the age of 28, on September 26, 2012, Lewis and his 81-year-old landlady, Catherine Davis, were found dead at Davis’ residence in Los Angeles, California. Davis was well-known within Hollywood circles for operating the Writers’ Villa.
Police were alerted by neighbors following a violent altercation involving Lewis, who had attacked two individuals at the neighboring property. The sound of Davis screaming prompted the neighbors to call authorities. Upon arrival, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) found Lewis’ lifeless body on the driveway of the residence. Davis was discovered dead inside the house, having sustained severe head injuries, and her pet cat was also found deceased in the bathroom.
According to witness accounts, Lewis had scaled a fence to the adjacent property, where he assaulted a house painter and the homeowner. Lewis then leaped back over the fence onto Davis’ property. The LAPD reported that Lewis subsequently fell or jumped from the roof, garage, or patio of Davis’ house. He killed Davis through manual strangulation and inflicted blunt force trauma to her head.
Source: Vocal Media