As Lawrence County was anticipating being the site for the upcoming jury trial in the murder of Sydney Sutherland, 25, of Newport, Quake Lewellyn entered into a plea agreement that resulted in a life in prison without parole sentence.

Lewellyn, 29, of Jonesboro, pleaded guilty to capital murder and rape, at the Jackson County Courthouse on Friday, waiving his right to a jury trial.

After his plea was entered, the judge sentenced him to life without parole for the capital murder offense and life for the rape offense.

The prosecution had previously said they would be seeking the death penalty against Lewellyn. With the plea agreement, he will spend the rest of his life in jail, but will not face the death penalty.

Earlier this year, a change of venue was granted moving the would-be jury trial from Jackson County to Lawrence County. Many residents in Lawrence County had since been posting signs and painting windows in support of the Sutherland family.

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