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As an alternative sentencing specialist, Wendy Feldman sees plenty of damaged individuals. Some are battling drug addictions. Others are working through mental problems. When Johnny Lewis walked into her office earlier this year to deal with some legal problems, she saw more of a guy who needed psychiatry and less of an addict.
Speaking to E! News, Feldman, who interacted with Lewis for two months, said the actor didn’t show signs of being ravaged by drug use but instead exhibited very clear indications of mental illness. He reportedly denied taking drugs during the time she knew him, and she was far more concerned with getting him medication to treat his brain. Eventually, that question reportedly put him on Abilify to treat his bipolar disorder, but it's widely assumed he stopped taking it in the days prior to the heinous murder he allegedly committed.
The case came as a great shock to most observers, but Feldman was far from blown away. In fact, she’s hoping the case will convince people to be more proactive about helping loved ones who clearly have problems.
"That's the lesson, if anyone can get a lesson out of this tragedy. He had the diagnosis of very serious mental illness that was not being treated, and that's why it becomes obvious that you're gonna have a tragic end result of some great magnitude."
It’s tempting to accuse many of these experts of Monday morning quarterbacking, but the facts don’t support that pessimism at all. Lewis’ probation advisor painted him as a clear danger to society, and this woman recommended heavy medication. Sadly, nothing was done in time, but moving forward, hopefully this case will serve as a reminder for why more checks and balances are needed.