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Arkansas farmer gets life in prison without parole after raping and murdering female jogger

Arkansas farmer who raped and murdered nurse, 25, while she was out jogging is jailed for life without parole but avoids death penalty after admitting his crime, as victim’s mom brands him SATAN

  • Arkansas farmer Quake Lewellyn, 29, pleaded guilty to rape and murder charges on Friday after he attacked female nurse Sydney Sutherland, 25 in August 2020
  • Lewellyn avoided the death penalty after pleading guilty to the charges and will face life in prison without parole  
  • Sunderland was jogging in Newport on Jackson County Road 41 before she was attacked
  • Her body was found two days after her disappearance by authorities 
  • Lewellyn claims that he thought he ran Sutherland’s body over before taking her body to a rice field and ‘messing with her a bit’ before burying her
  • Sutherland’s mother Maggy said ‘Satan is real’ when giving her statement to the Jackson County Circuit Court 


An Arkansas farmer who abducted and raped then murdered a nurse while she was out jogging has admitted his crimes and avoided execution as a result.   

Quake Lewellyn, 29, of Jonesboro avoided the death penalty Friday after admitting to raping and murdering Sydney Sutherland, 25, in Newport on August 19 2020.  

Lewellyn gave his statement at the Jackson County Circuit Court in front of Sutherland’s family after confessing to the Arkansas State Police, with the victim’s mom likening him to Satan in her victim impact statement. 

He will now face life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to The New York Post, having avoided the prospect of execution by striking a plea deal which saw him plead guilty. 

Arkansas farmer Quake Lewellyn, 29, plead guilty to rape and murder charges on Friday after he attacked Newport nurse Sydney Sutherland in August 2020

Sutherland was jogging on Jackson County Road 41 before Lewellyn claimed he hit her with his truck and then 'messed with her a bit' after taking her body to a nearby rice field

Sutherland was jogging on Jackson County Road 41 before Lewellyn claimed he hit her with his truck and then ‘messed with her a bit’ after taking her body to a nearby rice field

Maggy Sutherland, Sydney’s mother, gave a statement of her own in the courtroom and asked Lewellyn to look her in the eyes as she spoke.

 ‘She was not yours to take,’ Sutherland said. ‘Satan is real. The hands you hugged me with are the same hands you killed her with.’

‘True justice for Sydney, my daughter, would be for her to be here,’ she told reporters after the hearing.

Prosecutors discussed the idea of a plea deal with the Sutherland family to which they agreed to after showing mercy to Lewellyn. 

‘Considering the jeopardy he was going to be in (if there were) a trial, this was a result that we could live with and that the state could also live with,’ Lewellyn’s defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 

If Lewellyn had faced a jury trial, prosecutors stated that he would have faced the death penalty if convicted of murder.

Lewellyn faces life in prison without parole after Sutherland's family agreed to the plea deal

Lewellyn faces life in prison without parole after Sutherland’s family agreed to the plea deal

Sutherland's mother Maggy gave a statement to the Jackson County Circuit Court and asked Lewellyn to look her in the eyes while she spoke

Sutherland’s mother Maggy gave a statement to the Jackson County Circuit Court and asked Lewellyn to look her in the eyes while she spoke

Sydney Sutherland was a nurse at Harris Medical Center and was living with her boyfriend Alex Nicholson at the time of the murder.

Her family, who was voted Jackson County’s Family of the Year in 2016, had filled the courtroom with pink shirts reading ‘Maggy’s Girl.’ 

Sutherland was on a jog on Jackson County Road 41 before Lewellyn had attacked her. 

After a community-wide search for her, Sutherland’s body was found by police two days after the murder. 

Police had previously located Sutherland’s phone a quarter mile from her home.

Sutherland was living with her boyfriend Alex Nicholson and worked as a nurse at the Harris Medical Center at the time of her murder

Sutherland was living with her boyfriend Alex Nicholson and worked as a nurse at the Harris Medical Center at the time of her murder

Authorities then 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 claimed that he drove past her while she was on the jog and assumed he had hit her after he turned his car around and could not see her.

He then presumed she was dead and even tried ‘messing with her a bit’ and removed her clothes after digging a hole for her body in a rice field. 

Sutherland’s body was then allegedly buried after and Lewellyn had continued to go through his nightly routine without even thinking about his actions, according to The Sun.  

A memorial site was created for Sutherland near the site of her death in May

A memorial site was created for Sutherland near the site of her death in May 

The state medical examiner said that Sutherland died from the multiple blunt force injuries she endured.

A memorial was created for Sutherland near where she was found at an overpass on U.S. 67 in May.

Lewellyn had formerly pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, capital murder, abuse of a corpse and rape in October 2020.

He also received a mental evaluation that November before it was decided that he was stable enough to understand the charges and court proceedings a couple months later.

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