The man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering Sydney Sutherland told a psychologist that he “went to work just like normal” after burying her in a rice field.
Jackson County Circuit Judge Harold Erwin ordered mental exams in December 2020 for Quake Lewellyn, a 28-year-old farmer from Jonesboro. The exams were requested by Lewellyn’s attorney, according to previous reporting.
Sutherland, 25, of Tuckerman, was reported missing on Aug. 19, 2020, after she didn’t return home from jogging along Arkansas 18 between Newport and Grubbs. Following an extensive search from area law enforcement and 200 volunteers, her body was found two days later.
Lewellyn told a mental health professional that he was checking wells and rice fields when he struck Sutherland with his pickup truck, documents show. When he got out of the vehicle to check on her, he said he believed she was dead.
“At this point, I was scared and afraid I was gonna be in trouble for running her over,” Lewellyn said.
The suspect then loaded the woman’s body into the tailgate of his truck, drove her to a rice field and dug a hole because “that was just where I was and where I was going to begin with.”
Before burying her, Lewellyn confessed to removing her clothing and “trying to mess with her,” but he didn’t detail what that meant, Dr. Lacey Willett wrote. The suspect recalled returning to work to eat lunch and checking wells.
After work, he went through his normal routine and “just tried to forget about it.” The following day, he “went to work just like normal,” he said.
Lewellyn, with hopes not to be named a suspect, even went to police to tell officers he was the last to see Sutherland alive. He later confessed to his alleged crimes and provided several statements, Willett wrote.
“I knew I didn’t kill her on purpose,” Lewellyn said.
Willett determined that he was mentally fit to stand trial and understood the judicial process.
“He expressed that he would like to take his case to trial so ‘I can get my story out there to whoever needs to hear it,’” she wrote.
Lewellyn is being held in the Randolph County Detention Center on suspicion of capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse. His trial has not been scheduled due to the previously pending evaluations and ongoing coronavirus pandemic.