Alleged accomplice enters not guilty plea

Updated: April 30, 2004, 11:48 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- A woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges she was an accomplice in a murder-for-hire plot with St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton.

Katie Wolfmeyer entered the plea in federal court in East St. Louis, Ill. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for July 1, and her trial was set for July 13.

Danton and Wolfmeyer were indicted April 22 by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to arrange a murder for hire and using a telephone across state lines in an attempt to do so.

Danton remains jailed in California, where he was arrested April 16, hours after the San Jose Sharks eliminated the Blues from the NHL playoffs. His attorney has said Danton also will plead innocent.

Attorney Bob Haar said he doesn't know when Danton will be returned to the St. Louis area. Partly for security reasons, the U.S. Marshal's service does not disclose when a suspect will be moved.

Wolfmeyer, 19, appeared shaken during her arraignment. She gave only yes-or-no answers to questions from a magistrate. She is free on $100,000 bond and in custody of her parents.

Wolfmeyer's lawyer told reporters his client has lost two jobs and a position as a lacrosse coach because of media coverage.

"I urge you to tone it down and let the kid get on with her life," lawyer Donald Groshong said.

Federal authorities said Danton, with Wolfmeyer's help, tried to hire a hit man for $10,000 to murder an unidentified acquaintance at Danton's suburban St. Louis apartment. Federal authorities said the men argued April 13 over Danton's "promiscuity and use of alcohol." Danton allegedly feared the acquaintance would talk to Blues management, potentially damaging Danton's career.

Wolfmeyer was accused of contacting the would-be hit man, who alerted the FBI.

Danton came to the Blues in a June trade from New Jersey, where he had been twice suspended for disciplinary reasons.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press