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Farmer Accused Of Raping, Killing Jogger Is Deemed Fit To Stand Trial
Quake Lewellyn is facing charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse in Sydney Sutherland’s August slaying.
An Arkansas farmer accused of killing and raping 25-year-old jogger Sydney Sutherland has been deemed fit to stand trial after allegedly telling a psychologist he “tried to forget” about the slaying and simply returned to work.
Quake Lewellyn, 28, is facing charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse in Sutherland’s August death after she disappeared during a jog not far from her home.
Her body was discovered two days later buried in a field after investigators located the site using data recovered from Lewellyn’s cell phone, according to an affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
Arkansas State Hospital forensic psychologist Lacey Willett determined the 28-year-old was mentally fit to stand trial in the case after conducting an interview and mental status exam.
“There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Lewellyn lacked the capacity to act in a purposeful manner at the time of the alleged offense,” Willett wrote in a criminal responsibility evaluation report filed last week in the case and obtained by Oxygen.com.
Lewellyn allegedly told Willett that he saw Sutherland running down a gravel road on Aug. 19 and turned his truck around to check on her after it looked like she disappeared into the dust kicked up by his truck. He said that he realized he had may have struck Sutherland while his view was obstructed and discovered her unresponsive on the road.
“At this point, I was scared and afraid I was gonna be in trouble for running her over,” he said, according to the report.
Lewellyn said he put her body into the tailgate of his truck to “hide her body so [he] wouldn’t be in trouble,” then drove to a rice field and dug a hole. He said he took the 25-year-old’s clothing off and “tried messing with her a bit” before burying the body, but declined to elaborate on the advice of his legal counsel.
Authorities have alleged that Lewellyn admitted during questioning to taking off her shorts and raping her before he disposed of the body, according to the affidavit in the case.
After burying Sutherland, Lewellyn allegedly told Willett he “went back to work” and “just tried to forget about it” as he continued with his regular routine that day, even having dinner with his family that night.
His father called him later that night to ask whether he had seen Sutherland and he said he had seen her, but didn’t mention hitting her, according to the report. Lewellyn told Willett he went to talk to investigators the next day after it was determined he had been the last person to see her alive and was cooperative, but was still hoping he wouldn’t get caught.
Authorities have said he later confessed to killing her.
Lewellyn allegedly told Willett he “knew I didn’t kill her on purpose” and never called 911 to try to get her medical help because he was “just scared.”
Willett concluded there was “no evidence to suggest that Mr. Lewellyn was experiencing a mental disease or mental defect” at the time of the alleged crime and had no history of past mental health treatment.
Lewellyn is part of a prominent farming family in the area. He’s currently incarcerated in Randolph Country and described his current mental state to Willett as “not the best, but the best for the situation,” according to court records.
He reportedly has been spending his time behind bars reading and playing card games as he awaits trial.