The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Entertainment

September 28, 2012

Warning signs seen before actor's violent end

(Continued)

A May 17 probation report states that "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."

Another probation officer had written two months earlier, "Obviously defendant's behavior is out of control and needs counseling afforded by a professional."

Lewis remained on supervised probation at the time of his death.

Lewis' attorney Jonathan Mandel said the actor had serious mental issues that seemed to surface fairly recently. He said Lewis' parents and others had tried desperately to help him.

"Johnny Lewis had a lot of problems, a lot of mental problems," Mandel said by phone Thursday. "I recommended treatment for him but he declined it."

He continued, saying: "I give a lot of credit to his parents. They were really strong in trying to help him out. They really went to bat for him, but I guess they just couldn't do enough."

Lewis' career spanned more than a decade, mainly in small roles. He played Ricky in the 2007 movie "AVPR: Aliens vs Predator — Requiem" and was Dennis "Chili" Childress for two seasons on TV's "The O.C." He also appeared in episodes of such popular television shows as "Boston Public," ''Judging Amy," ''Malcolm in the Middle" and "Drake & Josh."

He was on "Sons of Anarchy" in 2008 and 2009 before his character was killed off.

Kurt Sutter, the show's creator and executive producer, tweeted news of Lewis' death Thursday:

"It was a tragic end for an extremely talented guy, who unfortunately had lost his way," Sutter wrote. "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."

___

Associated Press writers John Rogers and Shaya Tayefe Mohajer in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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