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Father of three missing Michigan boys sentenced to prison

DETROIT (Reuters) - A man who pleaded no contest to unlawful imprisonment in the disappearance of his three young sons last November was sentenced on Thursday to from 10 to 15 years in prison.

John Skelton's three boys, Andrew, Alexander and Tanner were ages 9, 7, and 5, when they were reported missing in Morenci, Michigan around Thanksgiving. The boys have not been found despite extensive searches in southeast Michigan and northwestern Ohio.

Lenawee County Circuit Court Judge Margaret M.S. Noe imposed the sentence on Skelton on Thursday morning, a circuit court clerk said. He was given credit for 289 days served.

Skelton told police after their disappearance was reported that he had left the boys with a female acquaintance and instructed her to care for them because he had planned to commit suicide.

Police have said that was not true, and the Morenci police chief has said he believes Skelton killed the boys.

Skelton pleaded no contest in July to three counts of unlawful imprisonment.

(Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Greg McCune)

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