Accused Murderer Guilty In Resort Burglary Case

HILL – A Salisbury man, facing the death penalty for allegedly kidnapping and
killing an 11-year-old girl in Salisbury in December, was found guilty last
week by a Worcester County Circuit Court jury of fourth-degree burglary for an
unrelated case in Ocean City.

J. Leggs, the accused murderer of Sara Haley Foxwell, appeared in Worcester
County Circuit Court last Thursday to face burglary and malicious destruction
of property charges for a separate incident in Ocean City last Sept. 11. After
hearing testimony from the female victim in the Ocean City case, a Worcester
County Circuit Court jury deliberated about 20 minutes before returning a
guilty verdict on the fourth-degree burglary charge. The jury found Leggs not
guilty on the malicious destruction charge.

the reading of the verdict, Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Groton
sentenced Leggs to three years in jail, the maximum allowed for the charge
under the state’s sentencing guidelines.

September, Leggs, who worked at times in different restaurants and bars in
Ocean City last summer, was arrested and charged with burglary and malicious
destruction of property after breaking into the residence of the female victim
with whom he had become acquainted about 10 days earlier.

arrest in Ocean City came just over three months before the tragic murder of
Foxwell in Salisbury in December. Foxwell was first reported missing on Dec. 23
and her body was found near Salisbury on Christmas Day after a massive search
conducted by law enforcement officials and thousands of citizen volunteers.
Leggs, who knew Foxwell and reportedly had an off and on relationship with her
aunt with whom she lived, was quickly identified as a suspect.

February, Leggs was indicted by a Wicomico County grand jury on first-degree
murder and other charges and prosecutors immediately announced their intention
to seek the death penalty in the case.

In May,
Leggs’ murder trial was moved to Cecil County after he successfully petitioned
an administrative judge for a change of venue, a request automatically granted
in death penalty cases.