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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Leave a Reply