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Defense Wants Mental Health Evaluation for Alleged Murderer of Arkansas Jogger Sydney Sutherland


Quake Lewellyn

A recent filing sets the course in the case of slain Arkansas jogger Sydney Sutherland, 25. The defense for her alleged murderer Quake Lewellyn, 28, filed a motion on November 19 requesting a mental health evaluation.

In documents obtained by Law&Crime, Attorney William O. James Jr. wrote that he had “reason to believe that due to mental disease or defect, Mr. Lewellyn may not fully understand the proceedings against him, and may not have been able to fully appreciate the criminality of the conduct with which he is accused and his ability to assist in his defense may be in question.”

The defense requested an evaluation to determine Lewellyn’s “fitness to proceed” and his criminal responsibility. This request also includes testing for “mental retardation.”

Sutherland was reported missing back on August 19, after she went out jogging but did not return.

Sydney Sutherland

Investigators found her phone the next day about 1.3 miles from her home. According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Law&Crime, they questioned Lewellyn and he said he saw her running on County Road 41 before she went missing. He was the last person to see her, authorities said.

The defendant went to an Arkansas State Police station for an interview, and allowed investigators to search his pickup truck, according to officials. Authorities claimed to find blood on the tailgate, and inside the cracks of the tailgate. In this official story, they searched Lewellyn’s phone, and found a Life 360 application, which tracked his location. They claim this program put him just yards away from where Sutherland’s body was found.

Lewellyn allegedly admitted that he ran her over with his truck, put her in the vehicle, and moved her to the location noted on the Life 360 application. It was there that he raped her, and buried her, according to this confession.

The defendant is charged with a count each of capital murder, kidnapping, rape, and abuse of a corpse.

[Mugshot of the defendant via Jackson County Sheriff’s Office; image of Sutherland via Jackson County Emergency Management]

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