CECIL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A sex offender who admitted Tuesday that he killed an 11-year-old girl will be locked up for life. 

Adam May has details from court and emotional reaction from the family.

Under this plea deal, Thomas Leggs agreed to two life sentences without parole.

In late 2009, 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell was snatched from her Salisbury bedroom in the middle of the night.  She was missing for three days before her body was discovered in a wooded area on Christmas Day.

Convicted sex offender Thomas Leggs Jr. pleaded guilty Tuesday, agreeing to life in prison.

“It’s time to move on, time to celebrate who she was and what she was ’cause she’s at rest.  She’s at peace,” said her mother, Jennifer Foxwell.

Sarah’s mother and father are pleased with the deal.

“She was an innocent, fun-loving, happy little girl.  She has lots of brothers and sisters that loved her and part of my life will never be the same,” said Thomas Foxwell.

As part of the plea deal, investigators also interviewed Leggs in depth.  He admitted to every detail of the crime.  Researchers were also sitting in, hoping they could learn something.

“That man will never see the  light of day and hurt a hair on another child ever again.  He’s in a hole the rest of his life,” said Wicomico State’s Attorney Matthew Maciarello.

But Leggs avoids the death penalty, which is what the family originally wanted.

“If I thought Maryland would enforce the death penalty, I’m all for it, but we don’t feel they’re gonna enforce it,” Thomas Foxwell said.

“This was a horrible, heinous crime.  Mr. Leggs should have been put to death, but that puts the family through a lifetime of appeals and hearings,” Maciarello said.  “A death sentence for Leggs would be a life sentence for the family.”

Instead, they want to remember Sarah’s life and not her tragic death.

“[She’s a] beautiful, bright star in the sky, smiling down on each of us every night,” Jennifer Foxwell said.

Leggs briefly dated Sarah’s aunt prior to the murder.  He’s already been interviewed by FBI profilers.  They’ll use the information to help them solve other pedophile cases.

Under the structure of the deal, Leggs will have limited appeal options.

Comments (44)
  1. Sea Dog3 says:

    This outstanding community activist avoided the death penalty!! Can you tell me how?? You gotta love WHITEY!!!

    1. Billiam says:

      Really? This is the best you can do?

  2. Perry says:

    Yeap us taxpayers gotta pay for him to live the next 60 or so years, I say juice him up then parade his body around the state so all the other sex offenders will see what happens!!!

    1. ARNOLD says:

      I AGREE WITH YOU 100%……..

    2. Gina R says:

      I agree with Perry totally. Maybe if that would happen al lthe other weirdos would realize that the same thing will happen to them and open up their friggin eyes and think twice!!

    3. RDNKKKGRL says:


    4. no rights says:

      I will gladly pay for his keep in the pen, just the thought of him getting it at night from his cell buddy or someone else maybe in the shower will definitely help me sleep better.  Inmates HATE child molesters and most of the time unless they are in protective custody or isolation  they will get it in the END. I hope  it causes thomas as much pain as he caused sarah the only difference is may he received it every single day of his life. JUSICED DID PREVAIL IN THIS CASE!

  3. Your MOM says:

    I’m just glad they finally reported a “WHITE GUY” doing something….cuz for a while I thought Blacks was doing all the killing

    1. James says:

      Oh get over it. The race card is overplayed.

      1. Gina R says:


    2. Billiam says:

      Thankfully you aren’t my mom – ‘CUZ” she wouldn’t have said anything that stupid. Did you not see the nut who attacked the african american man while he was fishing a number of months ago? I believe he was white – you had to look past the supremacist tattoos, but yes, he was white. For once, can you just look past race and look at what the real crime is here? This little girl is gone forever and she did nothing to deserve this.

    3. Kenneth Warren says:

      it’s about time. stop putting all the negative things on blacks. label’s are very bad

  4. Patty says:

    Death is the easy way out for him . Let him worry about the guys , doing it to him in there ,,,,

  5. Paul Eric Kilmon says:

    Another person to support in prison. Death he deserved, and for those who disagree – save it for your, God.

  6. candyse says:

    Bout time, some justic’s is served… I say put him under the jail. Jail is way to easy….

  7. Dawn Corson says:

    I am a firm believer in the death penalty. We support enough people that don’t earn their keep in America much less trash like this! Death is EXACTLY what he deserves and THEN let God take care of him. I am a God fearing woman but it is not by the grace of God this Angel went the way she did or this family suffers the way they do. RACE has NO business here and SHAME ON YOU for making it so!!! This is about Right and Wrong and JUSTICE! One can ONLY hope the fine men we also support in the prison’s will find out what their fellow bunk mate did and TAKE CARE OF THE REST!!!!!

    1. Billiam says:

      Dawn – unfortunately in this Democratic-led state, all the laws are now out there to protect the criminals and not the victims. Oh, let’s make sure the injection method doesn’t hurt, or let’s make sure death by electrocution isn’t considered cruel and unusual punishment. No one was there to ask the little girl what she thought when this animal committed this heinous crime. It doesn’t matter that he gets to live in jail – he shouldn’t be living anywhere. Once he’s in jail, no one will hear about him again, and unfortunately, that little girl’s life may be just a memory, too. To all of you who think the death penalty should be revoked – what if this was your child?

      1. RDNKKKGRL says:


      2. Contessa says:

        I am with rdnkgirl – they would have to pull me off the murderer. I could never sit through a trial where my child was murdered. God bless her family. I am truly sorry.

    2. Cleda Bulger says:

      Death Penalty is to easy of an out for him. Let him rot in prision where they take a dim view of people who hurt children. By the time Bubba gets done with him he will pray to die.

  8. Mike says:

    If he was a convicted sex offender, why was he out.
    By the way, the death penalty does deter.
    Ted Bundy has not killed as single female since he was put to death.

  9. Staci says:

    My son was a very good friend of Sarah’s. It was very hard for him to understand how something like this could happen to one of his friends. She was abducted 4 houses down from our house. To this day I sadly won’t let him out of my sight when he is outside playing, sad isn’t it? I have also found the website to locate where the other sex offenders are in my neighborhood..Trust me if you knew all the details of this case your head would spin… so much was never mentioned and be grateful it wasn’t. Leggs is a “sicker” man than you realize. I can only hope that those other roommates of his in jail will make him wish he had just been given the death penalty for it would have been a quicker way for him to end what will hopefully be suffering for him for the rest of his life. As my son has said many times, “she was such a good person.. she was nice and funny.. how could anyone do that to her?” .. Sadly it is one of many lessons in life he will have to learn. And with our wonderful judicial system.. sadly letting these people out.. it will be lessons that many of our children will sadly learn. To the judge who released this man out after his 4th charge…. shame on you..

    1. RDNKKKGRL says:


  10. Cheryl Morrison says:

    God bless her soul. People get so focused on the “sex offense” SHE”S DEAD!! They will never see their little girl again! No school days, no girlfriends, no sleepovers, no picnics, no happy family christmas, no family photos, no smiles, no hugs, no voice, no birthdays, no high school, no cheerleading, no prom, no boyfriend, no college, no weddings, no grandchildren, no great grandchildren. He is a MURDERER. They have been robbed of their future. He needs to die. He confessed to the murder. He needs to die NOW. They did the plea for more information on the case as well. Since the plea was for life w/o parole. I would guess that the family wanted the death penalty but it’s up to the prosecuting State’s Attorney, and in this case Cecil County’s. And they want to keep their 95% conviction rate. So they ultimately tell the parents what they will and will not seek under the laws of maryland of course and depending how good they are at knowing all of the laws. But the States Attorney isnt emotionally attached to these cases and they follow the laws yes but also want to win cases or can decide not try them at all. They can drop and pick up charges at anytime they want. There really isnt much of a choice for the parents of murdered children. Unfortunately its all about who’s in office.And whose child it is. And I hear that someone working for the DAO of Cecil Co. said that ever since the 70’s everyone that has signed a murder plea deal has always served at least 25 years of their sentence. Isnt that GREAT??? (Sarcasm) They get to live while we take good care of them and he gets out and have a family and friends. The murdered Child’s family gets to re-tell the tragic details over and over to people and have their memories so precious and they get to go visit her grave and flower shops and attend meetings for grief for the rest of their lives. Where’s the Justice??

    1. Cheryl Morrison says:

      Its sad that the parents felt they had to agree to the plea urgently because for real, the parents are represented by the states attorney and they get voted in and out of office so often a new one has to pick up the case and the parents have to go through all the rigamarol over and over and over ad nausem until the system has whittled away at the parents very reason for continured exsistance, it consumes you everyday when this happens to you. All you want is for it to end and it never ends, even when the case is over, you are left without your child, your baby, your future, your hope and all your dreams shattered, their little girl can never grow up and visit them and see and even care for them when they are old. Its so so tragic. Devastating. Think about it. Really think about what it would mean to you if you lost your child and the state can’t do this or cant do that. Or the people want this or that or voted this or that. The monster confessed. He should die, we should not feed and support him and worry about his rights and comfort. They have been robbed of their future. He needs to die. He confessed to the murder. He needs to die NOW.

  11. Dawn Corson says:

    Staci, My heart goes out to you and your family. No child deserves to experience such tradegy, much less have a parent be at a total loss for words in trying to explain something there is no explaination for. Perhaps as a result of his lose, one day he will grow to help others and make this world a safer place for the children behind him. May God be with you both.

    1. Staci says:

      thank you Dawn… and that would be a wonderful thing.

  12. fedupwithitall says:

    SAD SAD STORY and the worse part is the MOTHER was dating this dude and KNEW he was on the list and still dated him and brought him around. WAKE up people , you can’t expect the Gov. to protect your KIDS . U as a parent have to protect them and NO LAWS will prevent crimes or we would be CRIME free with all the laws we have on the books now. We can have every LAW in the world and people will commit crimes so making harder LAWS do not work as the Registry does not work and is costing taxpayers $$$
    AND how many crimes has the sex offender list stopped ??? Your right ..0.. that we know of and at the same time we should have drunk driver / drug dealer / gun offender registries if these type of lists really work, heck then we can stop all types of crimes then..

    1. Chris says:

      Actually it was the Aunt who briefly dated Leggs. And where/how do we know she KNEW he was a sex offender. My understanding was she dumped him the minute she found out. Just sayin…

  13. fattyd.a. says:

    HEY MIKE :: same reason this sex offender was out is the same reason drunk drivers / drug dealers / gun offenders / killers are released everyday ?? The system stinks to the tee and we need to clean out Annapolis and start over with BETTER laws as they think the SEX OFFENDER LIST solves all problems when in fact it does very little to stop crime once it has happened ? If the list is so good for the costs involved , why not just make one for all criminals.

  14. riley says:

    i feel for the family god blesse but i belive what he done should be done to him then hang him up thats what i think o yea also if it happen to me i wouldnt let the cops get him i would do even tho he is in jail i feel he has gotton alway with it but hey i hope well i know and feel sorry for him when them guys a done with him

  15. RDNKKKGRL says:


    1. Contessa says:

      I agree with you totally. Why do we let the justice system continue to be so lenient with murderers, etc.

  16. Perry says:

    Unfortunally when he gets ti prison, he will end up in a cell by himself, for his own protection, have a playstation or nintendo and tv set, with his radio and cd’s. Yeap our tax dollars at work, prison isn’t punishment anymore, its a retirement home now!!!!

  17. susan says:

    Maybe the family of Sarah’s can rest in peace now. Sarah is looking down proudly to her family.

  18. Jacob says:

    i hope he gets what dserves in prison. hopefully someone will do to him what our soft overly PC justice system wont. i have a daughter almost twelve and if it was me, he’d be serving his life sentence in the dirt and id willingly walk myself into a jail cell and close the door for killing him.

  19. Jacob says:

    oh and i can understand the arguement that death is to easy for that type of sicko. thas why i say we should start burying them alive. make it torture and the good ridance.

  20. Cheryl Morrison says:

    Feduwithitall, you mis-read the artical because he briefly dated the aunt, you are bashing the mom and she in no way shape or form contributed to the abuse and torture and death of her daughter, what is wrong with you? And even if the Aunt, she didnt know, he was a sexoffender. He is the one that needs to be held responsible for HIS actions not blame others. Everyone wants to blame the families of the victums for creeps and monsters willingly violating our laws of our State and Nation.

  21. Amanda Plaine says:

    Cheryl couldn’t agree with you more well said @ FED read the story before you blame this little girls mother you moron

  22. amy ellen says:

    I totally believe that life in prison is the best so he constantly be reminded every day of what he has done to that precious child. I don’t believe in the death penalty cause i just don’t ……… rather we pay taxes to let him live in the squallor of prison, and fear each day for his life…………… and I feel so horrible for his family. Unfortanely, i lost my son in prison 5 years ago ……. murdered by heroin ………. and i lost a daughter (17 years old) to a brain tumor so the pain i stilll have makes me feel horrific to anyone who has lost a child.

    1. Cheryl Morrison says:

      I used to believe like you until my niece was murdered. She was murdered by a man who had just got out of prison for attempt of murder and arson, He confessed to everythiing and has NO remorse. He also tried to murder two otherpeople the night he murdered my niece and he tried to murder someone else in prison. These murderer’s dont get a horrible life in jail, they get catered too, Their needs and wants are taken care of and they dictate to the jail what they are going to accept and they continue to murder people in jail. They call the shots when they’re in there espeically when they are in there for life. The public is misconscrued into believing they will be tortured by inmates and raped and hated. No. It’s not like that. If they (many murderers) don’t like someone or something they call the shots and their needs are met. People in there are afraid of them just like the public is out here. Many of the prision guards where he is are only 18 yrs old. fresh out of high school, not real intimidating and very “green” . They (the murderers) are the ones that are doing the killings in jail and the rapings, stabbings etc. You Fools believe otherwise until it happens to you.. He’s living it up and we are still waiting for our fine judicial system to tell us if and what and when they are going to do anything about it. I am sorry for your loss although you have NO IDEA when Your child is MURDERED and the one who did it is coddled to like a baby.

  23. fedupwithmd. says:

    WELL WELL We now see how good the VERY COSTLY sex-offender registry is for us. This guy was on two of them and still was able to repeat his crime as does ALL TYPE of criminals do at one point or another. Since the Sex-Offender Registry is doing so GREAT maybe we ought to get one for spousal abuse / drunk driver / drug offender/ gun offenders and then all crimes would go away .Marylanders do not even have a clue how much the state is paying for the S.O.R. and how little people goes to it and it has not been known to have STOPPED one crime in sex offenses, so I have to wonder why they are just making it larger and larger day by day and it is now to the point it is over-bloated and you can get caught peeing outside and or get caught having sex outside in car with lover and be on list…alot of good that is doing and at cost of millions of dollars a year.I feel it is money spent on dealing with the problem in other ways and the MAIN thing is we can’t expect the GOVERNMENT to protect our must LOVED thing in the WORLD our CHILDREN which as parents is our job , so the S.O.R. is a very costly and ineffective tool and is getting out of hand as the POLICE can’t even keep up with it day to day as the S.O. homeless problem is growing everyday as they have no jobs and losing homes day to day.