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.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
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    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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