A MAN has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to the rape and murder of a 25-year-old jogger from Arkansas.
Quake Lewellyn, 29, was charged with the August 2020 death of Sydney Sutherland, who went missing after going for a jog near her home.
On Friday, the man, from Jonesboro, pleaded guilty to capital murder and rape charges in an effort to avoid the death penalty.
Prosecutors agreed to dismiss charges for kidnapping and abuse of a corpse.
Farmer Lewellyn was arrested after Sutherland, a nurse, disappeared on August 19 last year.
She went missing near the Grubbs and Newport area of Jackson County and was last seen jogging off Highway 18.
Police received a call that evening that Sutherland was missing, and her belongings and vehicle were found at her house.
Her body was found several days after her disappearance, authorities said.
According to an affidavit, Lewellyn told investigators he struck the woman with his pickup truck, then drove to another location where he said he raped her and buried her body.
Sutherland's autopsy revealed that her cause of death was "multiple blunt force injuries".
The Jackson County Sheriff in Arkansas also confirmed that the manner of death was homicide.
In October 2020, Lewellyn pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, capital murder, abuse of a corpse and rape.
His attorney Bill James in November requested a mental evaluation which found he had the mental capacity to understand his court proceedings and the charges against him, ABC7 reports.
Prior to his guilty plea this week, prosecutors said that if a jury convicted him of capital murder, they would seek the death penalty.
Yesterday's guilty plea, however, waives a jury trial.
In a victim impact statement, the woman's mother, Maggy Sutherland, said: "She was not yours to take. Satan is real.
"The hands you hugged me with are the same hands you killed her with."
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