The grandmother of Sarah Foxwell publicly ridiculed and chastised a local blogger who she said exploited the memory of her granddaughter who was murdered.
Roberta Wexler made the comments during a news conference that followed a Cecil County Circuit Court plea hearing for Thomas James Leggs Jr., 31, on Tuesday.
Leggs pleaded guilty to murder, sex offense, kidnapping and burglary charges as part of an agreement with prosecutors to withdraw the state’s intent to seek the death penalty.
Leggs was taken into police custody Dec. 23, 2009, after Sarah Foxwell, 11, was reported missing by family members. Two days later, thousands of volunteers from around the region reported to Arthur W. Perdue Stadium to assist law enforcement in the search for the child on Christmas Day. The community later mourned when law enforcement officers announced that the child’s badly burned remains had been located in a wooded area in Delmar later that afternoon.
On Tuesday, Leggs, a registered sex offender in Maryland and Delaware, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on murder and sex offense charges. He was also ordered to serve a consecutive sentence of 30 years on the kidnapping charge and 20 years on the burglary charge.
After the hearing, Wexler accused Joe Albero of attempting to profit from the death of her granddaughter.
“In my opinion, he has used Sarah’s name to line his pockets,” she said.
She alleged the blogger intended to write a book about the child’s murder. She also accused him of falsely stating that he paid for Foxwell’s funeral.
Wexler told reporters her family has been victimized by “Joe Albero and his cult” of followers and she plans to “seek justice.”
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