Suspected killer of Lexis Roberts appears in court
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) – The man accused of killing a Las Vegas girl makes his first appearance in court Friday.
Thomas Sanders was arrested in Mississippi before being extradited to Louisiana. State prosecutors there say they'll add new charges against him once the Feds are finished.
Now that the 53-year-old has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a kidnapping charge, it's expected that authorities will file first degree murder charges against him for the death of Lexis Roberts.
Wearing a bullet proof vest, Thomas Sanders was escorted by a number of agents as he entered the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Louisiana. He stands accused of abducting 12-year-old Lexis Roberts, whose body was found in a Louisiana swamp this past October.
Sanders appeared before a judge Friday, pleading not guilty to the federal kidnapping charge.
Authorities say Sanders' capture was the result of an extensive collaboration between a number of agencies.
"I'm pleased with the way this has come together – working with local and federal officials from many states. It's been great to have this kind of effort," says the sheriff.
Lexis and her mother, Suellen Roberts, were reported missing from Las Vegas in September. Authorities in Arizona also believe they've found her mother's remains and are trying to determine if Sanders is also linked to her death.
"We know he has relatives out there but there is no reason to believe they were involved in any of this," continues the sheriff.
Sanders was arrested in 2002 and 2003 despite being declared legally dead back in 1994. If convicted, he could face life in prison.