Arkansas farmer Quake Lewellyn, 29, pleaded guilty to rape and murder charges after attacking Newport nurse Sydney Sutherland, 25, in August last year.
It’s been nearly 14 months since Sydney Sutherland went for a jog and never returned. The 1-year murder case took twists and turns throughout the trial and finally came to an end this Friday with a plea deal.
Quake Lewellyn avoided the death sentence after admitting to raping and murdering Sydney Sutherland in Newport on August 19, 2020. After confessing to Arkansas State Police, Lewellyn gave his statement in front of Sutherland’s family at the Jackson County Circuit Court.
According to FOX16, he will now face life in jail without the possibility of parole after avoiding the prospect of execution by agreeing to a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty.
Lewellyn Admits the Charges
Sutherland took a jog on Jackson County Road 41 on August 19, 2020, when she was attacked. Lewellyn told the authorities he saw her while driving. The police questioned Lewellyn after they found out that he had been at the scene where Sutherland’ was last seen. He allegedly confessed and told investigators he passed Sutherland as she jogged, then turned around and rammed her with his truck. Lewellyn claimed he wasn’t sure if she was dead before transferring her body to a rice field, where he dug a grave, removed her clothes, and “tried messing with her a bit.” Sutherland’s body was discovered two miles from where Lewellyn hit her.
The medical examiner determined that she died as a result of several blunt-force traumas. However, it is unclear when in the sequence of events, she died.
In a victim impact statement, Sutherland’s mother, Maggy Sutherland, said, “She was not yours to take.”
“Satan is real,” she stated. “The hands you hugged me with are the same hands you killed her with.”