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      Father of three missing Morenci brothers faces sentencing

      Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton were last seen in the backyard of their father's Morenci home on Nov. 25, 2010.

      The Morenci man whose three sons have been missing since Thanksgiving was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison, above state guidelines in the case.

      John Skelton appeared in Lenawee County Circuit Court in Adrian on Thursday morning. He pleaded no contest in July and later said he did so in hopes of one day being free to see his sons again. Prosecutors dropped kidnapping charges.

      A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes. Skelton will receive credit for 289 days already served.

      Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton were last seen in the backyard of their father's Morenci home on Nov. 25, 2010. They were 9, 7 and 5 years old at the time.

      The boys were reported missing when they were not returned to their mother, Tanya Skelton's, home. John Skelton told a court, during a Dec. 2010 hearing, that he gave his sons to an organization . He refused to identify the person or group. At an unrelated hearing in early February 2011, Skelton told a judge that he cannot return the boys to their mother.

      Skelton told authorities that he gave his three boys to a group called "United Foster Outreach" and another group called "Underground Sanctuaries."

      Authorities say they cannot locate those groups.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this article.)

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