U.S. attorney refuses to ID alleged target

Updated: April 22, 2004, 8:39 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton and a woman were indicted Thursday in Illinois on federal charges they schemed to kill an acquaintance of the hockey player.

Mike Danton

The counts mirror those of a criminal complaint filed in East St. Louis, Ill., against Danton and Katie Wolfmeyer, accusing the two of conspiring to hire a hit man and of using a telephone across state lines to set it up.

Danton, 23, was arrested Friday in California, a day after the Blues were eliminated from the playoffs.

Federal authorities say Danton tried to pay $10,000 for the murder of an unidentified acquaintance at Danton's suburban St. Louis apartment. The men argued April 13 over Danton's "promiscuity and use of alcohol," and Danton feared the acquaintance would talk to Blues management and ruin Danton's career, authorities say.

Wolfmeyer, 19, apparently was unaware the supposed contract killer she allegedly was helping hire was secretly working with the FBI.

Ronald Tenpas, the U.S. attorney for Illinois' southern district, on Thursday refused to confirm media accounts, quoting unnamed law enforcement sources, that Danton's agent, David Frost, perhaps was the target of the murder-for-hire scheme.

"We are not identifying the acquaintance by name," Tenpas said, citing the potential victim's privacy.

Wolfmeyer made her initial appearance Monday in federal court in East St. Louis, Ill., then was freed on $100,000 bond and scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 30.

Though Wolfmeyer's attorney has said his client had been lied to by Danton, Tenpas said, "I believe that the facts as laid out in the affidavit show this was more than a momentary lapse in judgment."

Tenpas said Wolfmeyer had been told by the FBI informant that he had stopped to pick up a gun when she was leading him to the apartment the night of the would-be killing.

Danton came to the Blues in a June trade from the New Jersey Devils, where he had been twice suspended for disciplinary reasons. This season, Danton had seven goals, 12 points and 141 penalty minutes, tied for most on the team.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press