Skelton Waives Extradition

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The father of three boys missing since Thanksgiving waived his right to an extradition hearing on Tuesday and was promptly processed and driven away to face charges across the state border in Michigan.
John Skelton, 39, had been fighting extradition on three charges of parental kidnapping in the disappearance of his sons Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5. But during a Tuesday morning hearing in Toledo he agreed to his return to his home state.
Within an hour of the hearing's end, Skelton was driven off by Morenci, Mich., Police Chief Larry Weeks and another officer.
Skelton's attorney, Merle Dech, would not say why Skelton decided to stop fighting extradition.
Skelton was going to be arraigned on parental kidnapping charges later Tuesday afternoon, but that has been pushed back until Wednesday.
Skelton's estranged wife, Tanya Skelton, reported the boys missing after he didn't return them to her from a court-ordered visitation. They were last seen on Thanksgiving playing in their father's backyard in Morenci.
Police say John Skelton tried to hang himself the day after Thanksgiving, and made up a story about giving the boys to a female friend so she could take them to their mother.
After hundreds of people scoured wilderness areas along the Michigan-Ohio border for days, Weeks said he didn't expect a positive outcome in the case. Those searches produced no sign of the children.
Skelton wore a brown jail jumpsuit in court on Tuesday, not the protective gown designed to stop inmates from harming themselves that he wore during the previous hearing. Looking more alert than the last time and with a thicker beard, he sat in a wheelchair and was wheeled out at the conclusion of the hearing to be returned to the jail for processing.
Skelton's $3 million bond was extended as a condition of his extradition.


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