Jonathan Kendrick Lewis
Jonathan Kendrick Lewis (October 29, 1983 – September 26, 2012), also credited as Johnny K. Lewis, was an American film and television actor. Lewis is best known for playing Kip “Half-Sack” Epps in the first two seasons of the FX series Sons of Anarchy.
Lewis grew up in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of North Hollywood and Sherman Oaks. He was the middle child of Michael and Divona Lewis.
He has an older sister, Anna and a younger brother, Eric.
His parents were practicing Scientologists and Johnny was himself a Scientologist for most of his life. After finishing school, he left home to pursue an acting career.
Johnny’s mother began taking her son on auditions when he was six and he would be cast in his first role at seven. It was a bit part in an escalator safety video featuring a rapping cartoon raccoon. He worked in commercials, including a Pizza Hut spot.
At 18, with money in his pocket, Lewis left his parents’ home in the Valley and moved to Hollywood. Johnny came to live in what was widely known in the entertainment industry as the “Wilton Hilton” with other young actors and future stars like Adam Brody, Bret Harrison, and Ashlee Simpson.
Lewis began making television appearances while in his late teens, with guest starring roles in Boston Public (2000), The Guardian (2001), and American Dreams (2002), Yes, Dear and Judging Amy, among others.
His debut feature film performance premiered in 2004, in New Line Cinema’s Raise Your Voice alongside Hillary Duff, and he followed that up with Miramax Films’ Underclassman in 2005. He co-starred as Pearce Chase, one of five siblings on the Fox series Quintuplets.
He guest starred in four episodes of the Nickelodeon television series Drake & Josh as Scottie, one of Drake’s bandmates.
Lewis appeared on Seventh Heaven and in Malcolm in the middle as one of Malcolm’s older brother Reese’s military schoolmates.
From 2005 to 2006, he played Dennis “Chili” Childress on The O.C..
Also, Lewis had a guest spot in the third episode of Smallville season 5.
He also starred in the film Magic Valley (2011), which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Lewis is best known for his role as prospect biker Kip “Half-Sack” Epps in the first two seasons of the FX original series Sons of Anarchy.
He also appears in supporting roles in the films Underclassman (2005),
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007),
and The Runaways (2010).
Lewis dated American singer Katy Perry from 2005 to 2006.
In mid-2009, Lewis learns he and his then-girlfriend, actress Diane Gaeta, arre expecting a baby.
The couple had split up by April 6, 2010, when the couple’s daughter, Culla May, was born, but briefly attempted sharing a residence.
Lewis eventually moved out, after which the couple engaged in a “long and painful” custody battle that Lewis ultimately lost.
Lewis was raised in a “Jewish-oriented household”, although his family also practiced Scientology. His parents Michael and Divona Lewis attained the highest available level within Scientology, called “Operating Thetan”, or OT VIII.
He starred in Scientology training films, and was a sponsor of the Scientology drug rehabilitation group Narconon. Lewis left the Church of Scientology in his early 20s.
Lewis was arrested three times between 2011 and 2012. Criminal records reveal that Johnny had a big history of run-ins with the law. On Feb. 10, 2011 he was arrested for allegedly battering a woman and was later charged with assault and battery. He was arrested again on Feb. 18, 2011 for attempting residential burglary and was ultimately sent to jail on April 12, 2011 for that arrest. On Aug. 8, 2011 he withdrew his not guilty plea and plead no contest to one count of felony assault and was ordered to serve one year in county jail. On Aug. 17, 2011 he plead no contest to felony attempted burglary. In January 2012, he struck two men in the head with a bottle while engaged in a fight.
Hence, he pleaded no contest to charges of assault with a deadly weapon in the case. The second arrest came about six weeks after the first, with Lewis accused of attempting to break into a woman’s home. He pleaded no contest in that case as well. Considering the cases, a probation official expressed that he was “very concerned for the well-being of not only the community but that of the defendant”, that Lewis suffered from mental health issues as well as chemical dependency, and that Lewis would “continue to be a threat to any community he may reside in.” Lewis was released from a Los Angeles County, California, jail on September 21, 2012, five days before his death.
On October 30, 2011, Lewis suffered head injuries from a high-speed motorcycle accident, when he lost control of his Triumph motorcycle near Twentynine Palms. At the hospital, the staff checked him for signs of a concussion. However, he was allowed to leave after tests came back negative. Though an MRI was recommended, and Lewis’s father scheduled MRI tests twice, Lewis refused to take them. Lewis’s father also states that he “pursued and encouraged psychiatric treatment for his son. It was Johnny who refused to comply.” He started manifesting bizarre and illogical behavior from that point on and concurrent to his ensuing legal troubles.
Bill Jensen reports in Los Angeles magazine, Lewis and his attorneys pushed for rehab for marijuana addiction. When Lewis rejected this, they pursued rehab for alcoholism to avoid trial.
Then, in early August 2012, Lewis was well enough to be granted provisional out-patient status. He made a deal with the District Attorney of the San Fernando Court – his freedom for “time served”. Lewis was assured that he would likely just spend a couple more days in jail, no more. The couple of days turned into nearly two more months, during which he suffered a severe downturn in health and spirits. Released from jail September 21, he determined to make his own way and get his life together. After his release from jail, Lewis returned to the Writers’ Villa at 3605 Lowry Road in Loz Felice, CA, which was owned by Catherine Davis. He moved back into his old room at the Villa, referred to as “The Red Room” directly across the hall from Ms. Davis.
Later, on September 26, 2012, Lewis and his 81-year-old landlady Catherine Davis are found dead at Davis’ home. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) found Lewis’ body on the home’s driveway. Davis would be found dead inside the villa, which appeared to have been ransacked. Davis’ death is investigated as a homicide, in which Lewis is a suspect. It was later determined that Lewis had murdered Davis and killed her pet cat Jesse. According to multiple reports, police were called to the scene after neighbors heard the 81-year-old woman screaming.
Subsequently, neighbors told police they saw a man jump the fence on the Davis property. Furthermore, the man assaults a painter and a homeowner next door, then jumps back over the fence. Then, according to the LAPD, Lewis then either fell or jumped from the roof, garage, or patio of Davis’ villa.
At long last, an autopsy report released on November 29, 2012 stated that Lewis did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system when he died. Lewis had a history of drug abuse, leading to speculation by his attorney that the actor may have suffered a drug-induced psychosis when he allegedly killed his landlord. However, toxicology reports came back negative for alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, psychedelic drugs, or anti-psychotic medication. The autopsy report did indicate he had suffered partial strangulation and had fingernail marks on his neck when he died. Because there is no indication that Lewis was pushed or that he jumped from the roof in an act of suicide, his death is ruled “accidental.”
Finally, his family has spoken out about Lewis’s history of untreated head trauma. It is this that has led some to speculate that he developed a psychological disorder. In closing, they believe that it was the head trauma which led to his sudden spurts of violence.
Year Title Role
- 2004 Raise Your Voice Engelbert “Kiwi” Wilson
- 2005 Pretty Persuasion Warren Prescott
- 2005 Underclassman Alexander Jeffries
- 2007 Palo Alto Nolan
- 2007 Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Ricky Howard
- 2008 One Missed Call Brian Sousa
- 2008 Felon Snowman
- 2010 The Runaways Scottie
- 2012 Lovely Molly Tim
- 2011 Magic Valley John
- 2012 186 Dollars to Freedom Jorge
Year Title Role Notes
- 2000 7th Heaven Norton Episode: “Tunes”
- 2000 Malcolm in the Middle Cadet Martin Episode: “Therapy”
- 2001–2003 Boston Public Bodhi 4 episodes
- 2001 Undressed Ray 5 episodes
- 2001–2002 The Sausage Factory Gilby 13 episodes
- 2001 Judging Amy Desmond Episode: “Surprised by Gravity”
- 2002 The Guardian Ted Popper Episode: “Mothers of the Disappeared”
- 2002 Yes, Dear Ricky Episode: “Making Babies”
- 2003–2004 American Dreams Lenny 7 episodes
- 2004 Drake & Josh Scottie 4 episodes
- 2004–2005 Quintuplets Pearce Chase 22 episodes
- 2005–2006 The O.C. Dennis “Chili” Childress 9 episodes
- 2005 Smallville Gabriel Duncan Episode: “Hidden”
- 2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Tad Sidley Episode: “Up in Smoke”
- 2007 Bones Enzo Falcinella Episode: “The Priest in the Churchyard”
- 2007 Shark Michael Hackford Episode: “Student Body”
- 2008 Cold Case Truitt “Spider” Leland ’98 Episode: “Spiders”
- 2008–2009 Sons of Anarchy Kip “Half Sack” Epps 26 episodes
- 2009 Criminal Minds Eric Ryan Olson Episode: “Zoe’s Reprise”
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