Leggs Gets 3 Years on Unrelated Burglary Charge - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Kye Parsons

Sarah Foxwell's Accused Killer Gets 3 Years on Unrelated Burglary Charge

Posted: Updated: Aug 5, 2010 03:50 PM EDT
Thomas J. Leggs Jr. Thomas J. Leggs Jr.

SNOW HILL, Md.- A Worcester County Circuit Court jury deliberated 20 minutes before it convicted Thomas J. Leggs Jr. of fourth-degree burglary Thursday, drawing a maximum three-year sentence from a judge.

Leggs, 30, of Salisbury, who is facing charges in Wicomico County for the kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Sarah Haley Foxwell of Salisbury in December, was on trial in Worcester County for an unrelated incident that occurred in Ocean City in September. 

According to prosecutors, a 24-year-old woman, who had already known Leggs for a few months, said she awoke in her bedroom at around 4 a.m. on Sept. 11 to discover Leggs standing by her bed with his pants around his ankles. The victim told the court that she never had given Leggs permission to enter her home and ordered him out before calling police shortly thereafter.

Leggs, who was in street clothes and without handcuffs or shackles, did not take the stand in his defense during the trial.

In addition the fourth-degree burglary charge, Leggs was charged with fourth-degree malicious destruction of property. However, the jury acquitted him of that offense. Several members of the jury were asked about how and why they reached their verdict but declined comment.

Leggs is a registered sex offender in Maryland and Delaware, with past convictions for sex offenses and assault. Thursday's conviction means that to date, juries have convicted Leggs in four separate cases. To date, he has served more than 40 months behind bars. Records show he was given nine-and-a-half years in prison on a sex assault conviction and a violation of probation. However, that got overturned on appeal, along with five years of the sentence.

During Thursday's trial, Judge Thomas C. Groton III said he took Leggs' extensive criminal history into account in his sentencing decision.

"Your record is a bad record. For that reason alone, this was a dangerous incident," Groton told Leggs before giving him the maximum sentence of three years in the Maryland Department of Corrections.

Leggs' attorney, Arch McFadden, said he plans to file an appeal as soon as Friday.

Worcester County State's Attorney Joel Todd, whose office prosecuted Leggs in Thursday's case, said he was "very pleased" with the jury's verdict.

"This victim, in light of what I read in the papers now regarding this defendant, certainly was a lucky person to be able to be in court and testify today." 

Leggs faces trial on April 18 of next year for the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Foxwell. In that case, Leggs is charged with first-degree murder, first- and second-degree burglary, kidnapping, kidnap-child under 16 and first- and second-degree sex offenses.

Sarah was abducted from her home the night of Dec 22. Her body was found on Christmas Day in a wooded area of Wicomico County near the Maryland-Delaware line after a massive search. The State Medical Examiner's Office ruled Sarah's death a homicide and found that she died of multiple injuries.

Wicomico County State's Attorney Davis Ruark, who is prosecuting Leggs for Sarah's murder, said he intends to seek the death penalty.  

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