Katy Perry's ex-boyfriend Johnny Lewis is found dead

Johnny Lewis

An actor who used to be Katy Perry's boyfriend is suspected of killing his landlady before being found dead, according to police in Los Angeles.

Johnny Lewis, who was in The O.C. but was most famous for his role in US TV drama the Sons of Anarchy, is thought to have fallen or jumped to his death from where he lived near Hollywood.

Police went to the house in the Los Feliz area of the city on Wednesday.

The body of 81-year-old Catherine Davis was found inside.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Commander Andrew Smith said: "She was possibly beaten, although coroner's officials will determine the exact cause of death."

The house where Johnny Lewis found dead
The house near Hollywood where the two bodies were found

Neighbours are reported to have heard a woman screaming at the property.

The 28-year-old actor had rented a room from Catherine Davis for a short period of time.

"Although there are no witnesses, he is suspected of killing her," Commander Smith said.

"No-one was at home at the time and the investigators were not seeking anyone else for the crime."

Neighbours also told officers that a man had jumped a fence, assaulted a painter and homeowner and jumped back.

Police said they were both treated for minor injuries.

Commander Smith said: "At some point, Johnny jumped or fell from the home's roof, garage, balcony, stairs or patio area."

It is not yet clear how he died.

Psychiatric problems

Johnny Lewis had a criminal record and earlier this year was treated for drug, alcohol and psychiatric problems.

He was released from Los Angeles County jail a week ago, according to the county sheriff's website.

The star, whose full name was Jonathan Kendrick Lewis, was romantically linked with Katy Perry from 2006 for about 18 months.

Katy Perry
Katy Perry dated Johnny Lewis for 18 months from 2006 onwards

It's thought two of her songs The One That Got Away and Circle the Drain were inspired by him.

His acting career spanned more than a decade, with mainly small roles.

He was best known for playing Kip Epps in US cable TV show the Sons of Anarchy, which was about a motorcycle gang.

In The O.C. he played Dennis "Chili" Childress for two seasons.

More prominent film roles included a part in film Aliens vs Predator - Requiem in 2007 and the 2010 movie The Runaways starring Kristen Stewart.

"It's a terrible tragedy," added Commander Smith.

"The best we're piecing together now is that some type of altercation occurred resulting in the death of the woman."