Arkansas Farmer, 28, who ‘mowed down nurse, 25, who was out jogging, before he raped and dumped her body’ is fit to stand trial – Quake Lewellyn faces death penalty if convicted for the murder of Sydney Sutherland
Quake Lewellyn who is accused of murdering jogger Sydney Sutherland, is deemed fit to stand trial and faces the death penalty
Sydney Sutherland was reported missing on Wednesday Aug 19 after going for a jog
The 25-year-old was found dead in a shallow grave near her home in Newport, Arkansas in August – she had been physically and sexually abused
The 28-year-old suspect, a local farmer from Greensboro admitted that he ‘mowed down the mother-of-two who was jogging across a field
He then raped and dumped her body in the fields where it ws found by a search party days later
He allegedly, confessed that he dug a hole in he fields and hid the body which was recovered in late September
Forensic psychologist Lacey Willett found Lewellyn is fit to stand trial
Lewellyn faces charges of capital murder, rape and abuse of corpse
A farmer in Arkansas who is accused of murdering a nurse whilst she was out jogging, before raping and dumping her body has been declared fit to stand trial after undergoing a mental forensic examination.
Quake Lewellyn, 28, could face the death penalty if he is convicted of the charges against him, which include capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of corpse.
The body of Sydney Sutherland, a 25-year-old mother of two, was found dumped in Newport in rural Arkansas in late September last year after she went missing on August 19.
Lewellyn underwent a mental forensic exam in early January after a court ordered the review.
Licensed forensic psychologist Lacey Willett found the 28-year-old is fit to stand trial, Fox 16 reported.
‘It is my opinion that at the time of the alleged conduct, Mr. Lewellyn did not manifest symptoms of a mental disease or mental defect,’ Willett wrote in her report.
The report added that Lewellyn indicated that he has no history of mental health treatment.
Lewellyn told police he plowed down Sutherland with his truck while she was out running on the Jackson County Road 41 South on August 19, according to court documents obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in October.
He then allegedly admitted to loading Sutherland’s body onto his truck and driving her to a deserted field. Police said Lewellyn then raped Sutherland and buried her body.
Sutherland’s phone was found 2.3 miles from where her body was discovered, police said. The suspect’s phone was seized and searched which led to investigators discovering that he had been in the vicinity of where the victim’s body was buried, according to the affidavit.
The suspect has since pled not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse.
Sydney’s mother, Maggy Sutherland, told The Sun: “Everyone is still in shock, it just does not seem real. It’s like we are living a nightmare, not just the family but also the community.”
She added: “As a family, we are living day to day and trying to get through this tragedy. We are grieving the best way we know how. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of her and miss her pretty smile.”
Nicknamed ‘Sassy,’ Maggy described her daughter as being a very ‘beautiful, caring and loving person.’ She added that the pair were ‘best friends.’
Maggy feels Lewellyn is deserving of the death penalty and hopes he gets that sentence during his trial next year.
“I don’t know what he got out of that because he took a beautiful life, a young woman who had a bright future,” the heartbroken mother asserted. “He was very cruel to do what he did and the way that he did it.
“To me, he deserves the death penalty, he is a monster, an evil monster. She did not deserve any of that.”
Maggy shared that she frequents the various areas where her daughter was last seen and where Sydney’s body was found, just days after she was reported missing.
She said: ‘I still go to where it was at, I’ve walked it, I’ve done every step she’s taken, to try and see what happened. He will never tell the truth.’
Sydney’s mom, a receptionist at a local dental office, shared that the family had just returned from a trip to Destin, Florida, when the jogger went missing.
“We’d had a great trip, and she loved the beach. Everything was just right that day,” Maggy said. ‘She came over, we talked a little bit, and she went and got my mail and she came back.
She said, “I’m going to go home, I’m going to bake some brownies or cookies.”
‘She was leaving and I said, “I love you, I’ll talk to you later”. She said, “I love you too”. And that was the last I heard from her.’
At around 5pm, Maggy realized her daughter was missing when she received a call from Sydney’s boyfriend. She called other family members and soon they were looking all around the Newport area for Sydney.
‘I just threw my hands up like, “We’ve been everywhere down that road she ran and there was no sign, nothing”. I said, “Something’s wrong”. And that’s when the tragedy began.
‘I panicked, I just thought… has someone gone through here, drug-related, and snatched her up?’
Maggy Sutherland contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and had AT&T track her daughter’s phone and Apple Watch as more gathered at the couple’s home.
‘She did not do this run [as a] routine,’ Maggy shared. ‘She was a nurse. She had different shifts all the time. It was never every day and at no certain time.
‘We searched all night long, by the next day we had several different departments, state police, FBI, and I would say nearly 300 people volunteering.
‘We did not get sleep for days, we did not get sleep until they found her.’
Sydney’s parents and two brothers were notified of Sydney’s death on the Friday after her body was discovered.
‘We were very traumatized by this, she was the light of our lives,’ Maggy said.
‘But we stuck together as a very close family, and we stayed together in the days afterwards.’
Following reports of her disappearance, Lewellyn joined a Facebook page dedicated to searching for Sutherland.
Sutherland, who worked as a nurse, was last seen alive out jogging on August 19.
She was reported missing after failing to return to the home she shared with her boyfriend of four years, Alex Nicholson.
Police found her body two days later following a wide search operation using K-9 units and helicopter crews.
They had previously located her iPhone about a quarter-mile from her home.
Authorities identified Lewellyn as a suspect after using data from his own cellphone that put him in the vicinity of where Sutherland’s phone was found.
Lewellyn and Sutherland were known to each other but the nature of their relationship remains unclear.
Lewellyn is facing charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse.
He was arrested August 21, 2020 and is being held without bond at the Randolph County jail. During his initial court appearance late last year, Lewellyn wore a bullet-proof vest and an orange prison jumpsuit as he arrived at the courthouse.
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