JACKSON COUNTY, Ark. – The attorney for Quake Lewellyn, the man accused of killing Sydney Sutherland in August of this year, has requested for a mental evaluation.
The death penalty is still on the table for Lewellyn, which defense attorney Bill James said played a part in this request.
“That means we have to look at every possible avenue as far as defense goes and how we’re going to present the evidence to a jury,” James said.
In the motion filed in the Jackson County Circuit Court, James states the defense counsel has reason to believe Lewellyn may not fully understand the proceedings against him due to a mental disease or defect.
“If we’re intending on using any kind of mental health issues we have to let the court know that. If we do that then the state has the opportunity to evaluate the person charged with the crime with their own doctors,” James said.
When asked if there was anything that makes him think Lewellyn has a mental illness, James said there was not anything specific.
“But what I’ve learned in my 25 years of this practice is I’m not a psychologist,” James said.
He said stress or a certain life event could play a part and in any case, it’s important to have a professional make those determinations.
“Under the Arkansas law you don’t particularly have to be crazy or not know what you’re doing or unable to control yourself to still use mental health evidence it it’s appropriate to your mental state and what happened,” James said.
Lewellyn is set to appear in front of a judge and jury February 16th. James said this motion will probably push that back.
Read the full request below: