John Skelton update 2011.06.08

Written by David Green.

A Morenci man suspected in the disappearance of his three sons gave up his right for a probable cause hearing.

John Skelton, in jail since December and facing charges of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment, was scheduled to appear last Friday in Lenawee County District Court, but instead made a brief appearance June 1 to waive the hearing.

Skelton was initially charged with parental kidnapping after his three sons, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner, disappeared Thanksgiving day.

February in circuit court, prosecuting attorney Jonathan Poer added the more serious kidnapping charges and Skelton responded by asking for the case to return to district court for arraignment and a preliminary examination.

Now the case returns to Judge Margaret Noe in circuit court this week for arraignment and to set a trial date.

Skelton remains in the Lenawee County jail with a $90 million bond. The kidnapping charges could lead to life imprisonment.

In late January, Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks announced that the focus of the inquiry was shifting from a missing persons case to a murder investigation. Weeks stated that investigators do not believe Skelton’s story that he gave the children to someone from an organization to keep them away from their mother.

The Skeltons’ divorce case is also scheduled to resume in circuit court this week.

  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    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.
  • Front.train
    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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