Lewellyn pleads guilty in Sydney Sutherland murder

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 1:23 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 3:32 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - The man accused of killing a 25-year-old Jackson County woman will spend the rest of his life in prison.

In a Jackson County courtroom Friday, 29-year-old Quake Lewellyn of Jonesboro pleaded guilty to capital murder and rape, waiving a jury trial. After entering his plea, the judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole. He will not face the death penalty.

He had been charged with capital murder, rape, kidnapping, and abuse of a corpse in the 2020 death of Sydney Sutherland.

Prior to his plea deal, prosecutors had said if a jury convicted Lewellyn of capital murder they would absolutely seek the death penalty.

Sydney Sutherland
Sydney Sutherland(Source: Jackson County Sheriff's Office)

Lewellyn’s attorneys had argued that the crime was a “horrible accident and nothing about it was intentional.”

But, according to court documents, Lewellyn told Arkansas State Police investigators he first struck Sutherland with his pickup truck then raped and buried her.

The courtroom Friday was full of people wearing pink, Sutherland’s favorite color, to show their support for her still-grieving family.

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