"300-Pound Coward" Sentenced to Die In Prison, A Shocking True Crime Story
An Arkansas farmer, Quake Lewellyn, admits he hit and killed Sydney Sutherland with his pickup truck, raped her shattered corpse, and buried her in a rice field.
After that, he went home, had dinner with his family, and hoped to forget the murder and rape ever happened.
Now, he'll think about it for every day of his life inside a prison cell.
Quake pled guilty last Friday and was immediately sentenced on October 1, 2021, to life in prison without parole. In other words, death in prison.
As part of the plea arrangement, prosecutors agreed to take the death penalty off the table. Of course, Quake will die in prison, just not with a needle in his arm.
"Obviously, my client wanted to accept responsibility for what he had done," Quake's attorney, Bill James, said. "The family of Mrs. Sutherland had offered this mercy, and we took it.
"We are certainly thankful for that. It just was the right thing to do for Quake and for everybody involved."
During the hearing, Sydney's mother, Maggie, at the start of her victim impact statement, demanded Quake look at her in the face. He obliged, and only then did Maggie speak.
"Why couldn't you just pass her? Why couldn't you just pass my daughter," Maggie asked. "Justice for Sydney is all I ever wanted this past year for my daughter. What you took 408 days ago from us we'll never get back."
Sydney's brother, Sam, would rather see Quake put to death for murdering and raping Sydney.
Sam was so emotional during the sentencing, he couldn't read his statement to the court. Instead, a family friend performed that task.
"Quake," the friend said for Sam, "I want you to feel the same hopelessness as I felt watching out mother say goodbye to Sydney for the last time."
And, although Sam wanted to see Quake executed, he also said in his statement that it is better for "my family and myself, knowing you will spend every day in prison."
In a written statement to the court, Sydney's father, Dion, said, "Quake, you are a 300-pound coward that hit my 100-pound daughter with a 3,000-pound truck.
Someone you know or even love is the person who will kill you. Usually, that's true. But that is not what happened in 2018 to two college students in Iowa.
Two young women who had everything to live for were killed by two men with nothing to lose. The Iowa Murders tells the shocking true crime stories of the senseless deaths of Mollie Tibbetts and Celia Barquin Arozamena.