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Father of 3 missing Michigan boys scheduled for sentencing on unlawful imprisonment charge
ADRIAN, Mich. (AP) ' A man who maintains his three young sons, who have been missing since Thanksgiving, are still alive faces a sentencing hearing Thursday after pleading no contest in July to a charge of unlawful imprisonment.
John Skelton faces up to 15 years in prison in the Thanksgiving 2010 disappearance of Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, who were 9, 7 and 5 when they disappeared. Their father is to be sentenced in Lenawee County Circuit Court in Adrian.
In exchange, prosecutors dropped a charge of kidnapping
The boys were last seen at Skelton's home in Morenci, 70 miles southwest of Detroit near the Ohio state line.
Despite the deal, Skelton acknowledged that he still could face more charges in the future.
"They can still charge you with homicide," defense lawyer John Glaser told his client in court at the time of the no contest plea, which is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
Skelton has told police and a judge that the boys were given to an organization, but investigators don't believe him. The boys were supposed to be returned to their mother, Tanya Skelton, last Thanksgiving. The Skeltons were estranged at the time and now are divorced.
In court, Judge Margaret Noe has said she read investigative reports by the FBI and Michigan State Police. She said the reports show Skelton unlawfully took the boys.
Skelton said in a television interview that his plea was the only way he could get out from behind bars and get the boys back.