Arkansas farmer to face trial in brutal rape, murder of jogger Sydney Sutherland

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An Arkansas farmer who confessed that he ran down a 25-year-old jogger with his pickup truck before raping her and dumping her body is fit to stand trial, according to a report.

Quake Lewellyn, who is charged in the brutal Aug. 19 slaying of Sydney Sutherland, will stand trial on capital murder, kidnapping and rape charges after a psychologist ruled him competent to face the charges, KLRT-TV 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,” forensic psychologist Lacey Willett said in a report filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

“Mr. Lewellyn currently possesses an adequate factual and rational undestanding of the proceedings against him, as well as the capacity to rationally assist in his own defense,” Willett wrote.

Lewellyn, a 28-year-old divorced farmer, allegedly ran over Sutherland as she jogged near her home in Jackson County, about 80 miles northeast of Little Rock.

“I felt her hit my truck, so I slowed down,” Lewellyn allegedly told Willett, according to the report published by KLRT.

“He reported that he walked over to Sydney and asked if she was okay, but she did not respond and he believed she was dead,” the report said. “‘At this point, I was scared and afraid I was gonna be in trouble for runner her over.’”

Lewellyn put Sutherland in the tailgate of his truck and drove her to a nearby rice field and dug a hole — taking the woman’s clothes off and “tried messing with her a bit.”

Lewellyn said he then went home, had dinner, and went to sleep — “and tried to forget about it.”

The next day he “went to work just like normal,” the report said.

Meanwhile, Sutherland was reported missing at 7 p.m. that day.

Police questioned Lewellyn when they determined he had been near the scene where she was last seen, and he allegedly confessed when Sutherland’s body was found two days later, according to the report.

“Lewellyn then stated that he took off her shorts and raped Sutherland, then buried her at that location,” the report said.

“The Arkansas State Crime Lab determined Sydney Sutherland’s manner of death as homicide.”

A judge ordered Lewellyn to undergo a psychiatric evaluation last month, and the report was filed with the court on Friday.

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