Adrian, MI Skelton Boys Missing Nov 2010 -John Russel Skelton Charged

Started by JeffcoCitizen, January 31, 2011, 02:15:16 AM

previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Go Down


January 31, 2011, 02:15:16 AM Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 08:30:35 PM by JeffcoCitizen
John Skelton silent on sons, eager to oppose alimony for wife

Jan 28, 2011
ADRIAN, Mich. --

A judge suspended action Friday on a child custody contempt charge against John Russell Skelton of Morenci. The father of three boys missing since Thanksgiving will first have to deal with pending criminal charges, said Lenawee County Circuit Judge Margaret M.S. Noe.

The judge did not question Skelton, 39, about a mysterious "organization" that he said last month took the boys from his home on Thanksgiving, but she did ask if he was prepared to turn the boys over to their mother as ordered. Exclusive custody of Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5, was given to his wife, Tanya Skelton, on Nov. 29, leaving John Skelton at risk of being held in jail indefinitely if he is found in contempt of the court's custody order.

Skelton's wife did not look at him during the court proceeding. While remaining silent on their sons' whereabouts, John Skelton seemed eager to dispute any effort by her to obtain alimony or an order that he pay her attorney fees for the divorce.

John Skelton said at a Dec. 17 hearing that he could not comply with the court's custody order because he had turned over his sons to an "organization." He said a member of the organization drove to his Morenci home and took the boys on Thanksgiving Day.

Custody of the boys was in dispute in the couple's ongoing divorce and John Skelton had claimed the boys were at risk with their mother.

Felony parental kidnapping charges were filed against John Skelton on Dec. 14 after he was extradited from Lucas County in Ohio. The charges carry a maximum one year and one day in prison. A hearing in the criminal case was scheduled for Feb. 9 when John Skelton entered a not guilty plea by written waiver on Jan. 5.

The Skelton boys were mentioned only briefly during the hearing Friday morning.

"I would ask at this time, Mr. Skelton, if you are prepared to turn the children over to their mother?" Noe asked.

"I can't," he replied.

"What I would like to do is suspend and postpone any further action on this file," Noe said. The file will be monitored, she said, until the criminal case is completed.

A March 18 hearing in the divorce case was scheduled to deal with custody, parenting time and property issues that John and Tanya Skelton said are still in dispute.

"Tanya and I already split up the property," John Skelton said. He said he was confused how their agreement could be changed.

"She wants attorney fees and I don't want to pay her attorney fees," he said. "She wants alimony and I'm not paying alimony."

Noe asked if Tanya Skelton if she is seeking spousal support in the divorce.

"There are more important issues to discuss at this pretrial, so no," said her attorney, David McFarland, after conferring with Tanya Skelton.

John Skelton was led out of the courtroom past a line of seven news cameramen and photographers and back to a holding cell in the court building. He was later driven to the Lenawee County Jail where he has been held since Dec. 14 in lieu of $30 million in bonds.

Video at link


I hope they find these boys alive, but I really doubt that they will.  I watched the video and this guy is really a POS.  He seems to be intent on hurting the mother who is divorcing him.  I cannot imagine what the mother is going through.


Police: Skelton investigation is now being treated as a murder case

Feb 01, 2011
MORENCI, Mich. -- Police have switched the focus of the Skelton brothers investigation from a missing persons case to a murder case.

The announcement was made at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, 68 days after 9-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner were last seen at their father's home in Morenci.

The boys' father, John Skelton, has claimed he gave them to an organization.

"We don't believe the story about turning the kids over to an organization is a truthful one," Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said.

Weeks said Skelton told him the group was called United Foster Outreach and Underground Sanctuaries, but despite all of the resources available through the local, state and federal agencies working on the case, investigators have not found any evidence that a group by that name exists.

Weeks said the investigative team, which includes state police and FBI agents, met Jan. 19 to evaluate the evidence collected to that point.

"The decision was made by myself to shift the focus of the investigation," Weeks said in a separate interview.

The next day he informed the boys' family, including their mother, Tanya Skelton, of the decision.

The reasons to announce the change in the focus are threefold, Weeks said.

One, he said, is that as spring approaches and people return to doing things outdoors, he wants them to be aware of what they might find, and "not be thinking that they're with an 'organization.'"

The boys' father testified in a custody hearing in December that he gave the boys to an "organization" that he refused to name at the time.

Skelton was found in contempt of court and returned to the Lenawee County Jail where he is being held on three felony counts of parental kidnapping and $30 million in bonds.

"John Skelton is the primary suspect in this," Weeks said.

Another reason, Weeks said, is that he wants to be up front with those who have held out hope that the boys would be found. He said John Skelton has spread "false hope" with his statement about giving the boys to an organization.

"There's been a lot of effort by the people in our community and surrounding areas going into
locating the boys alive and well with this organization," Weeks said. "Based on the information that we have in the investigation, it's important that people understand where we're at and the direction it's going to process that information accordingly."

Weeks also said he wants people to be aware that given the timeframe from when the boys were last seen to when John Skelton went to the hospital for treatment of an ankle injury suffered in an apparent suicide attempt -- about 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day to about 1:30 p.m. the next day -- the boys could have been taken a long distance from Morenci, even further than the areas searched in Lenawee and  Hillsdale counties in Michigan and Fulton and Williams counties in Ohio in the week after they were reported missing.

Early in the investigation, Weeks said he did not anticipate a "positive outcome" to the case.
So far, more than 1,000 tips have been received, Weeks said. He said a lot of those have been specific to finding the boys alive. He said he is hoping that announcing the change in the investigation's focus will develop tips that are more likely to advance the investigation.

The frequency of tips called into the Morenci police at 517-458-7104 has decreased as winter weather has set in, Weeks said. Police have checked out some tips, including suspicious bags or packages, but none resulted in any leads.

Weeks said there is no timetable for when murder charges might be filed.

"The plan is to continue with our investigation, and, obviously, develop as much information as we can to support the investigation and, ultimately, when the time is right, we'll turn it over to the prosecutor's office for review," Weeks said in a separate interview.

Under Michigan law, Weeks said, it is possible to charge someone with murder without a body being located. However, whether to do so is up to the prosecutor and depends on what other evidence is developed in the case.

Addressing claims from John Skelton's family that he has accused Tanya Skelton of molesting the boys, Weeks said separately that no report claiming child abuse of any kind has been filed with the Morenci police nor was it brought up in custody hearings in Michigan or in Florida. In September, John Skelton took the boys to Florida, where his parents live, but returned them to Michigan after Tanya Skelton reported the incident to police.

Story and videos at link


Judge adjourns hearing in case of 3 missing boys

Feb 10, 2011
A pretrial hearing for the Morenci man accused in the disappearance of his three sons was adjourned Wednesday until Feb. 23.

John Skelton appeared in Lenawee County Circuit Court in Adrian. He is charged with three counts of parental kidnapping in the disappearance of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, ages 9, 7 and 5.

Judge Margaret M.S. Noe granted the request by Skelton's attorney, John Glaser. Prosecutor Jonathan Poer agreed to it. Both declined to say why an adjournment was requested.

Last week, Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks announced that the search was being handled as a homicide investigation. Skelton has not been charged with murder.

"This is no longer a missing persons' case," Weeks said Feb. 1. "I'm sure that when the time is appropriate ... charges will be requested."

Skelton's sons disappeared after staying with him during Thanksgiving; he had said they were with an organization.

Last week, Weeks said Skelton told police his sons are with the United Foster Outreach and Underground Sanctuaries. Weeks said investigators have been unable to locate the organization.


Skelton bond bumped to $90 million at new arraignment

Mar 09, 2011
ADRIAN, Mich. --
Six new counts raised the bond total to $90 million for John Russell Skelton when he was arraigned Friday in Lenawee County District Court on charges he kidnapped and imprisoned his three sons on Thanksgiving Day.

Skelton, 39, appeared on a television monitor in Lenawee County District Judge James E. Sheridan's courtroom. The arraignment was conducted by video from the Lenawee County Jail where Skelton has been held since his extradition from Ohio on Dec. 14.

Sheridan said he was extending bond that was originally $10 million for each of three original counts to now cover all nine charges.

The increased bond amount drew no objections or comments from Skelton or public defender John Glaser. The unemployed truck driver was already facing a seemingly unreachable $30 million bond for his release. Even if he did post bond in the criminal case, Skelton could still be held for contempt in his civil divorce case for violating an order giving his wife custody of their sons, Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5.

The boys have been the subject of a highly publicized police investigation since Skelton failed to return them to their mother, Tanya Skelton, the day after Thanksgiving. John Skelton told circuit Judge Margaret M.S. Noe at a hearing in the divorce case in December that he turned the boys over to an "organization."

Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks announced Feb. 1 that he had refocused the investigation from a missing persons case to a homicide case.

On Feb. 17, Lenawee County Prosecutor Jonathan Poer filed added charges of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment to the custodial kidnapping charges filed in December. He now faces a potential life prison term rather than a maximum one year in prison.

John Skelton asked Noe on Wednesday to be returned to district court for arraignment and an examination on the new charges. He had the option of proceeding in circuit court with setting a trial date. He pleaded not guilty to the original charges on Jan. 5.

Sheridan scheduled a hearing for March 28 where Skelton could ask for a preliminary examination on the kidnapping and imprisonment counts. Glaser said Wednesday a decision would be made later on asking for a hearing where the prosecution would have to present evidence to support the new charges. Poer said he is ready to show proof to justify putting Skelton on trial.

Go Up