An Arkansas man accused in the gruesome killing of a jogger is fit to stand trial, KARK-TV reports.
A psychologist has determined that 28-year-old Quake Lewellyn is competent to be tried in connection with the murder, kidnapping, and rape of 25-year-old Sydney Sutherland.
Authorities believe Lewellyn rammed his pick-up truck into Sutherland while she was jogging on a rural road in August, raped her, and then buried her body in a field, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Arkansas State Hospital forensic psychologist Lacey Willett examined Lewellyn in January after a court-ordered assessment. She wrote a report on her findings, which KARK-TV obtained Friday.
“It is my opinion that at the time of the alleged conduct, Mr. Lewellyn did not manifest symptoms of a mental disease or mental defect,” Willett wrote, according to the television station.
Lewellyn does not have a history of mental health treatment, and he did not act or speak in a bizarre manner while being interviewed by police. He also does not have a history of any medical problems or traumatic brain injury, is not on any prescribed medications, and has no history of psychiatric treatment or self-injury, according to KAIT-TV.
Willett determined that Lewellyn “did not lack the capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct.”
“During the current evaluation, he disclosed that he put Sydney’s body on the tailgate of his truck ‘to hide her body so [he] wouldn’t be in trouble,’ reflecting that he knew his conduct could result in legal consequences,” Willett wrote, according to KARK-TV.
Lewellyn was reportedly cooperative and polite while being evaluated, and he was sufficiently attentive to the questions that Willett posed, the television station reports, citing Willett’s findings.
“Mr. Lewellyn currently possesses an adequate factual and rational understanding of the proceedings against him, as well as the capacity to rationally assist in his own defense,” Willett wrote, according to the television station.
Lewellyn’s defense attorney had requested the evaluation after suggesting that he might not be capable of understanding the proceedings because of mental incapacity, KAIT-TV reports.
Investigators say Lewellyn drove past Sutherland, made a U-turn, and then slammed into her. Sutherland was a registered nurse and had just recently passed her boards. Lewellyn worked at his family’s farm.
The two knew each other, but not “particularly well,” Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas told the Democrat-Gazette.
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[Feature Photo: Quake Lewellyn, Sydney Sutherland/Handout]