Process of sending Skelton back to Michigan in motionWritten by ergable | | firstname.lastname@example.org
ADRIAN — State and local officials have begun the process of bringing the father of three missing Morenci boys back to Lenawee County to face the parental kidnapping charges filed against him, but it’s unknown how long the process will take.
John Skelton was arrested Nov. 30 upon his release from a mental health facility, where he had been taken after reportedly attempting suicide, and lodged at the Lucas County Jail in Toledo. He is charged with kidnapping his three sons, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, who are still missing.
To extradite a defendant who was arrested in another state, the governor of the state where the charges were filed must make a formal request with the governor of the state where the arrest was made.
“We verified today that the governor’s office has our paperwork,” Lenawee County Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Poer said Monday afternoon. He said he expects the paperwork will be sent from Lansing to Columbus within the next few days.
Skelton is fighting extradition from Ohio to Michigan. A?hearing is scheduled Dec. 14, but the process could be delayed longer, depending on how long it takes for the paperwork to make its way through the system.
“Normally these things take a period of time,” said Jeff Lingo, senior prosecutor with the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office. “It’s not unusual for them to take 60 days or more.”
Prosecutors are not required to show probable cause that the defendant committed the crime in order to secure extradition, Lingo said. The only requirements are:
- Demonstrating that the person to be extradited is the person named in the arrest warrant.
- Demonstrating that the state where the defendant was arrested has a statute on its books similar to the law the defendant is accused of violating in the state requesting extradition.
Daniel Steinbock, interim dean of the University of Toledo College of Law, said when he was practicing as a criminal defense attorney in New York, he usually advised his clients not to fight extradition. In general, he said, fighting extradition only results in the defendant sitting in jail longer in the state where he was arrested, and time spent in jail before extradition doesn’t count as time served when it comes to sentencing.
“You essentially gain nothing,” Steinbock said.
The day after Skelton’s arrest, Judge Gary G. Cook set his bond at $3 million.
Skelton’s court-appointed attorney, Merle R. Dech of Toledo, declined to comment Dec. 6 on the extradition process.