The former series star is fell or jumped to his death outside a Los Angeles home just days after his release from jail for assault with a deadly weapon and just months after being sentenced to serve 291 days in prison on first degree burglary charges.
Police officials suspect he killed his 81-year-old landlady, Catherine Davis, and a pet cat before he died, and they claim the actor, who played Kip ‘Half-Sack’ Epps on the show until 2009, was under the influence of a drug like Phencyclidine (PCP) or methamphetamine at the time of the killings.
Now Sutter has opened up about the tragedy, confessing he knew the actor was on a deadly downward spiral.
In a post on his WhoSay blog, Sutter writes, “Not sure if folks know this yet, but johnny lewis (halfsack) died last night… 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. Yes, it’s (a) day (of) mourning, but it’s also a day of awareness and gratitude. sadly, some of us carry the message by dying.”
A number of other celebrities have also paid respect to the tragic 30 year old, who briefly dated singer Katy Perry – her pal, actress Shannon Woodward, wrote, “Johnny Lewis, I love you deeply and madly and always. My heart is broken in a million little pieces. I will miss you every day… (He) was one of my best friends. He was very, very ill. His actions were a despicable result of that. It was not who he was.”
And Haylie Duff, whose sister Hilary appeared in musical movie Raise Your Voice alongside Lewis, tweeted, “So sad to hear the news about Johnny Lewis. Such a nice and talented guy. RIP.”
Meanwhile producer Josh Schwartz, who worked with the actor on teen drama O.C., added: “Sad news about Johnny Lewis. Hadn’t seen him in years but back then he was a very sweet, nice, talented guy. Thoughts to his family.”