Police suspect actor Johnny Lewis murdered his elderly landlord at her Los Angeles home shortly before he was found dead at the crime scene on Wednesday (26Sep12).
The body of the former Sons of Anarchy star, who briefly dated singer Katy Perry in 2006, was discovered in the driveway of the Los Feliz home, while 81-year-old owner Catherine Davis was found dead inside the property, alongside a pet cat.
Authorities believe Lewis, who had been renting a room in the house, was responsible for killing Davis by what appears to have been blunt force trauma to the head, although they have yet to determine his cause of death.
Los Angeles Police Department Commander Andrew Smith says, "The best we're piecing together now is that it appears that some type of altercation occurred inside of the house resulting in the death of the woman, then this individual (Lewis) ran outside, had an altercation with a couple of neighbours, ran back into the house and by the time we got here, he had fallen or had somehow died on the driveway."
It has since emerged that Lewis had been released from L.A. County Jail just days before the tragedy, on 21 September (12), after serving time behind bars for assault with a deadly weapon.
It was the latest legal woe for the 28 year old, who had also pleaded no contest to first degree burglary in early 2012 and had been sentenced to serve 291 days in prison and three years probation.
Editors at TMZ.com report Lewis had recently sought treatment in rehab and police sources claim the actor is suspected to have been under the influence of a drug like Phencyclidine (PCP) or methamphetamines at the time of the killings.
LAPD Officer Richard French tells the New York Daily News, "There was obviously something wrong with him. What that was exactly is not known to us at this time."
Lewis' Sons of Anarchy character, Kip 'Half-Sack' Epps, was written out of the series' second season in 2009.