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Sheriff Calls for Death Penalty in Child Murder Case

December 30, 2009

DOVER, Del. – Investigators say the kidnapping and murder of a Maryland girl, whose body was found on Christmas Day, calls out for the death penalty.

“I was a believer in capital punishment before this, but I’m a stronger believer today,” says Wicomico County Sheriff Michael Lewis.

The body of 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell was found two days after she was abducted from her home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. A relative discovered she was missing early Wednesday while checking on Sarah and her 6-year-old sister.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” Lewis says. “It’s the worst I’ve seen in 26 years of law enforcement.”

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While Foxwell’s death has been ruled a homicide, Thomas Leggs Jr., 30, of Salisbury, has been charged with burglary and kidnapping — but not murder. But Lewis says he’s confident sheriffs’ deputies have the man responsible for Foxwell’s disappearance.

“This man was and is a registered sex offender in Maryland and in Delaware. And he was out to commit this heinous crime against this innocent 11-year-old child.”

A charging document says Leggs was the last person seen with Sarah.

When Lewis talks about the condition of the body, his voice drops and he can’t finish the thought.

When asked about the cause of death, he didn’t want to elaborate while the investigation is ongoing. However, he did suggest the case could expand.

“We’ve actually received a number of phone calls and emails from individuals who have been affiliated with him in the past, or have been victims of his in the past, and they wish to meet with investigators in this particular case to look at similarities in this case.”

Leggs was convicted of a third-degree sex offense involving a 12-year-old girl in 1998. He is a registered sex offender in Delaware in connection with the 2001 rape of a minor.

Lewis says Leggs was uncooperative throughout the investigation.

“We actually provided counsel for him, and he still chose not to talk.”

Maryland is among the toughest restrictions in death penalty cases in the nation. A videotaped confession and DNA or other ‘latent evidence’ like fingerprints would have to be present in order to get a death penalty. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley sought to abolish the death penalty in the 2009 General Assembly session.

Lewis says he’s thankful that attempt failed.

“We cannot abolish the death penalty. It’s got to be reserved for cases such as this.”

(Copyright 2009 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Screw lethal injection. Rope is cheap and reusable.

  • Cars---mater-02_max50


    over 4 years ago


    DEATH PENALTY all the way. All child offenders should pay dearly.

  • Me_max50


    over 4 years ago


    What the hell is wrong with people now a days? Why an innocent child? He needs to die by lethal injection and slowly. He is so sick !

  • Flowers_20_234__max50


    over 4 years ago


    Certain criminals should not have rights...How can they (the judicial system) let a POS like this roam the streets after the crimes he has committed?? You can't change a sexual predator, and the worst part, this could have been prevented if he would've been in prison for his other 2 charges

  • Aug_sept_2007_098_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Time to dust off Old Sparky for this S.O.B

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Amen Mike.....The liberals will have to remember this case when they try to abolish it again this year!

  • Cars---mater-02_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Cut his fingers off one by one. Let the POS suffer a while.

  • Hard_badge_002_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Hang the scum and leave him there

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sheriff Lewis is absolutely correct. If ever there was a candidate for capital punishment, this is the guy. I read the earlier story about this a couple of days ago, and the anger in the posts I read was more than justified. This is an example of feral man at his worst !!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Sheriff you are on the right track, this guy needs to be wiped off the planet!

  • Image_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I agree with the Sheriff. This guy should get the death penalty.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Amen sheriff

  • Knighttemplar2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This Sheriff is 100% correct!

  • Aaa_max50


    over 4 years ago


    The Sheriff is absolutely correct in calling for the death penalty for this type crime.

  • Badge__hat_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Death Penalty.......Yes......Absolutely.

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