Convicted Child Killer Injured In Prison Stabbing

BERLIN — Convicted murderer Thomas Leggs, serving consecutive life sentences for the kidnapping, raping and killing of an 11-year-old girl in Salisbury in December 2009, was attacked with a knife at a state maximum security prison in Cumberland last week.

Leggs, 31, of Salisbury, was indicted in January 2010 on first-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree sex offense and other charges for the death of 11-year-old Sarah Haley Foxwell, whose body was found near Delmar in late December 2009 after a massive search conducted by thousands of volunteers in law enforcement agencies. Leggs, who was known to the victim’s family, was quickly identified as a suspect in the case and arrested before being indicted by a grand jury in January 2010.

Because prosecutors expressed early on their intention to seek the death penalty, and also because of enormous amount of pre-trial publicity, Leggs’ trial was moved to Cecil County and was scheduled to begin in April. On March 29, the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office announced a plea agreement had been reached with Leggs and his defense team that would take the death penalty off the table in exchange for a guilty plea on all charges, along with other concessions.

As a result, Leggs pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree sex offense, for which he was sentenced to consecutive terms of life without the possibility of parole. In addition, Leggs pleaded guilty to kidnapping, for which he was sentenced to a consecutive term of 30 years, along with first-degree burglary, for which he was sentenced to 20 years.

Leggs was remanded to a maximum security prison in Cumberland in Western Maryland to begin serving his consecutive life sentences. However, just about one month to the day of his March 29 plea deal, Leggs was attacked with a knife by another inmate in the dining area of the correctional facility he will likely call home for the rest of his life.

“Mr. Leggs was slashed with a homemade weapon,” said Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Public Information Director Mark Vernarelli this week. “He suffered injuries to his hand, neck and head, but was not seriously hurt. The assault happened in the inmate dining room during the lunch meal.”

Vernarelli said the homemade weapon has been recovered although no suspect has yet been identified. Leggs was not seriously injured in the assault.

“Leggs did not require outside medical attention,” said Vernarelli. “He was treated and released from the prison infirmary.”