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Arkansas man pleads guilty to killing jogger, gets life sentence

Quake_Lewellyn-Sydney_Sutherland.jpg
KARK-TV

A northeast Arkansas man was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty Friday to killing a woman who went missing after going for a jog near her home.

Quake Lewellyn, 29, of Jonesboro, pleaded guilty to capital murder and rape charges as part of a plea deal in which prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty. Prosecutors also agreed to dismiss kidnapping and abuse of a corpse charges.

Lewellyn was charged in the August 2020 death of Sydney Sutherland, 25. Defense attorneys have called Sutherland’s death a “horrible accident.”

Sutherland’s body was found near Newport, about 80 miles northeast of Little Rock, several days after she disappeared.

Lewellyn later told investigators that he struck Sutherland with his pickup truck, then drove to another location where he said he raped her and buried her body, according to an affidavit.