|John Skelton is charged with parental kidnapping.|
ADRIAN, Mich. — The father of three boys who have been missing since Thanksgiving waived his right to an extradition hearing in Ohio yesterday and was promptly driven back to Michigan to face charges.
John Skelton, 39, appeared in a Lenawee County magistrate’s office by video feed from the county jail. Magistrate Mindy England ordered him held on $30 million bond.
Mark Fetzer, district court administrator, cited a local policy and barred the news media from attending. Michigan court rules, however, prohibit closed hearings unless there are extraordinary circumstances.
“It’s not a public forum. We’re not doing anything differently just because of the high-profile nature of the case,’’ Fetzer said.
Skelton is charged with three counts of parental kidnapping in the disappearance of his sons Andrew, 9, Alexander, 7, and Tanner, 5. The boys were last seen playing on Thanksgiving in their father’s backyard in Morenci, a town about 70 miles southwest of Detroit.
Skelton has been in custody since his Nov. 30 discharge from an Ohio medical facility, where he was treated for allegedly trying to hang himself the day after Thanksgiving. Police say Skelton made up a story about giving the children to a friend to bring to his estranged wife.
Skelton will be arraigned today. He wants a court-appointed lawyer after reporting no income and monthly debts of about $675.