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Jogger’s friend say her ‘rapist killer’ should get the death penalty 

The best friend and family of murder victim Sydney Sutherland say her alleged rapist and killer should get the death penalty. 

Quake Lewellyn, 28, was taken into custody over the rape and murder of 25-year-old Sydney Sutherland after her body was found dumped in Newport in rural Arkansas late September last year. 

Now her best friend says Lewellyn should face the death penalty when he goes to trial later this year and that they are still ‘living a nightmare’ months after her murder.

Lewellyn told police he plowed down Sutherland with his truck while she was running on Jackson County Road 41 South on August 19, 2020, according to court documents obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in October.

He admitted to loading Sutherland’s body onto his truck and driving her to a deserted field, police said. They said Lewellyn then raped Sutherland and buried her body.   

Quake Lewellyn, 28, (pictured above) was taken into custody over the rape and murder of 25-year-old Sydney Sutherland after her body was found dumped in Newport in rural Arkansas late September last year

Sydney Sutherland, pictured above, was murdered and her body found dumped in Newport in rural Arkansas late September last year

Sydney Sutherland, pictured above, was murdered and her body found dumped in Newport in rural Arkansas late September last year

Murdered jogger Sydney Sutherland's mother says the 'evil killer' should get death penalty Sydney

Murdered jogger Sydney Sutherland’s mother says the ‘evil killer’ should get death penalty Sydney

The suspect has since pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse.

Prosecutor Ryan Cooper has said he is ‘absolutely’ pursuing the death penalty. 

Quake’s defense lawyers Bill James and Jeff Rosenzweig have filed 48 motions in Jackson County Circuit Court against capital punishment. 

‘The prosecutor seems to be pushing for it, and I hope it sticks,’ Sydney’s best friend Liz told The Sun.  

‘It’s a slow process with a lot of motions having been filed so I’m sure it will be prolonged.’ 

The suspect has since pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse

The suspect has since pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse

The suspect has since pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse

The suspect has since pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse

The suspect has since pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse

She continued: ‘I’m ready for it to be over so we don’t have to see his nasty face in the news media.

‘Everyone is still in shock and very heartbroken, we are all living a nightmare.’ 

Defense lawyer Bill James argued in court papers: ‘What happened was a horrible accident and nothing about it was intentional.’

Jury selections for the case are scheduled to begin September 28. 

Maggy Sutherland, the jogger’s 55-year-old mother, previously 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.’

'To me, he deserves the death penalty, he is a monster, an evil monster. She did not deserve any of that,' she said

‘To me, he deserves the death penalty, he is a monster, an evil monster. She did not deserve any of that,’ she said

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 said. ‘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 she disappeared. 

‘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.’

Lewellyn was arrested August 21 and is being held without bond at the Randolph County jail. He is facing charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse

Lewellyn was arrested August 21 and is being held without bond at the Randolph County jail. He is facing charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse

This still shared from Ring footage of a family member is believed to be the last picture of Sutherland and was taken just 90 minutes before she went on a run near her home the day she was murdered

This still shared from Ring footage of a family member is believed to be the last picture of Sutherland and was taken just 90 minutes before she went on a run near her home the day she was murdered

‘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 her 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 contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and had AT&T track Sydney’s phone and Apple Watch as more gathered at the couple’s home.  

She was reported missing after failing to return to the home she shared with her boyfriend of four years, Alex Nicholson (above together)

She was reported missing after failing to return to the home she shared with her boyfriend of four years, Alex Nicholson (above together)

‘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.

Police found her body two days later following a wide scale search operation using K-9 units and helicopter crews. 

Sutherland, who worked as a nurse, was last seen alive out jogging on August 19

Sutherland, who worked as a nurse, was last seen alive out jogging on August 19

Sutherland, who worked as a nurse, was last seen alive out jogging on August 19, 2020

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.

He was arrested August 21, 2020 and is being held without bond at the Randolph County jail.

Lewellyn is facing charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse.  

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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