Quake Lewellyn has been charged with capital murder after the death of Sydney Sutherland

By Steve Helling and Steve Helling
August 25, 2020 10:31 AM
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Sydney Sutherland
Sydney Sutherland
| Credit: Jackson County Sheriff's Office

Authorities allege the man accused of killing Sydney Sutherland was driving down the street on Aug. 19 when he spotted her jogging and decided to rape and kill her.

A special agent with Arkansas State Police said in a probable cause hearing on Monday that 28-year-old Quake Lewellyn was traveling westbound on a county road when he passed by Sutherland. According to the special agent, Lewellyn allegedly turned around, abducted Sutherland, put her in the back of his pick-up truck, sexually assaulted her and later killed her.

For two days, people searched for Sutherland, a 25-year-old nurse. On Friday, August 21, her remains were found not far from her home in Jackson County, Arkansas. An official cause of death has not been publicly released.

Authorities arrested Lewellyn within hours of finding Sutherland's remains. PEOPLE confirms through online records that he has been booked on capital murder charges.

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Quake Lewellyn Sydney Sutherland
Quake Lewellyn, who is accused of killing Sydney Sutherland
| Credit: Jackson County Sheriff's Office (2)

Lewellyn was wearing a bulletproof vest on Monday when he arrived at the Jackson County Courthouse for the probable cause hearing. Several members of Sutherland's family also attended the court proceeding. According to FOX 16 reporter Mitchell McCoy, the family was "visibly upset," while Lewellyn's remained outwardly emotionless.

The connection between Sutherland and Lewellyn remains unclear. Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the two knew each other, but declined to elaborate on how they met.

Lewellyn, a third-generation farmer, was even listed as a member of a Facebook page created to aid in the search for Sutherland.

Lewellyn has not yet retained an attorney. A public defender will be assigned to his case. He is being held without bond and has not yet entered a plea. He will return to court to be arraigned on October 1.