Sydney Sutherland murder: Prosecutor 'absolutely' pushing for death penalty of truck driver who 'raped & killed' jogger

THE prosecutor defending Sydney Sutherland will "absolutely" push for the death penalty against the truck driver who "raped and killed" her.

Prosecutor Ryan Cooper did not waive the death penalty in the case against Quake Lewellyn in the death of Sutherland.




Local news outlets confirmed on Friday that Cooper will be pursuing the death penalty.

Sydney, 24, who went missing while jogging near the Grubbs and Newport area of Jackson County, Arkansas, was last seen off Highway 18.

Her body was found on Friday, August 21, 2020 – three days after she vanished.

Farmer Quake Lewellyn initially admitted to police he mowed down the nurse with his truck, drove her to a nearby field, then raped her on the tailgate of his vehicle, according to an affidavit released on October 16.

He then told cops he used a shovel to dig a hole and buried Sydney's body, police records obtained by KATV show.

The 28-year-old has since denied the claims and has pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape, and abuse of a corpse

In an exclusive interview in March, Sutherland's mother Maggy Sutherland spoke in favor of the death penalty.

"He was very cruel to do what he did and the way that he did it," she said.

"To me, he deserves the death penalty, he is a monster, an evil monster. She did not deserve any of that."

His defense lawyers Bill James and Jeff Rosenzweig filed 48 different motions Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court against the death penalty.

James argues, "What happened was a horrible accident and nothing about it was intentional."

They also argued for a change of venue because "Lewellyn asserts that the minds of the inhabitants of Jackson County are so prejudiced against him, that a fair and impartial trial cannot be held in Jackson County."

The court will have a hearing on July 6 and jury selections are scheduled to begin on September 28.

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