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An attorney who represented Sons of Anarchy co-star Johnny Lewis is calling the actor “delusional” and saying Lewis rebuffed suggestions to seek treatment.
Lewis was found dead Wednesday in the driveway of a Los Feliz, Calif., home that contained the body of his battered 81-year-old landlady. The actor — who had a history of arrests for violent crimes — has been implicated in her death, and investigators believe he fell from the roof of the home while under the influence of drugs.
Jonathan Mandel, who represented the actor in two of his criminal cases, told E! News that he knew his client needed help.
“I did recommend in both of his cases that he get a treatment option,” he said. “He clearly had delusions.”
Mandel, who last spoke to Lewis about a month ago, didn’t get specific about what kinds of delusions he thought the actor had, but added that Lewis declined to seek professional help.
“It was his decision. He wanted door No. 2 and I couldn’t control it,” he said, adding: “Certainly he would have benefited from it. Would it make a difference? I don’t know exactly at this point what happened.”
Mandel added that he didn’t know the cause of Lewis’ “psychosis.”
“Clearly, it did impede his judgment,” he added. “Something was going on with him.”
Police reportedly believe Lewis beat and dismembered his landlady’s cat before killing her. The actor was arrested at least three times this year, for a felony assault with a deadly weapon, for allegedly striking a man outside a yogurt shop and for attempting to break into a home. He was released from jail Sept. 21, only five days before his death.
After news of his death broke, SOA creator Kurt Sutter tweeted that he wasn’t surprised.
“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,” he wrote.
Lewis, who was featured in 26 episodes of SOA, played a prospect hoping to join the California motorcycle club. His character was killed off in the season two finale. Sutter later said in interviews that the death was not for sensationalism but because Lewis had wanted out of his contract.
Lewis also appeared on nine episodes of The O.C. and played parts in the movies The Runaways and Lovely Molly. He also was known for dating Katy Perry.
Despite Lewis’ troubles, attorney Mandel called him “a very interesting kid with a lot of talent.”
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