John Skelton heading back to district court 03.16.2011

Written by David Green.

John Skelton’s movement through the court system is slowing as he goes back to district court for a hearing regarding kidnapping charges.

Skelton, charged with kidnapping and imprisoning his three sons, spent only a couple minutes in circuit court last Wednesday.

He appeared in Judge Margaret Noe’s courtroom for a pretrial hearing, but his public defender, John Glasser, requested the case be sent back to district court where Skelton would be arraigned on new charges filed last month.

Skelton, 39, has been in jail facing parental kidnapping charges after his three boys, Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, disappeared during an arranged Thanksgiving visitation. Skelton claims he is not guilty of those charges. Instead, he said, he gave the boys to an unnamed organization.

Further evidence provided by the Morenci Police Department led county prosecutor Jonathan Poer to add kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment charges. The new charges could bring life imprisonment if Skelton were found guilty.

A hearing is scheduled March 28 in Judge James Sheridan’s court. At that time Skelton could request a preliminary examination, forcing the prosecution to show evidence the children were kidnapped.

Poer told the Adrian Daily Telegram that he’s willing to present evidence if Skelton chooses that path.

In a video conference Friday with Judge Sheridan, Skelton learned during his arraignment that his bond was increasing to $90 million—$10 million for each of the six new charges plus the original $30 million.

Skelton is scheduled to appear in district court at 8:15 a.m. Friday for a pre-trial hearing in the divorce case. An additional date regarding the sale of marital property is scheduled April 4.

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