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Danton to remain jailed; trial set for July 20

5/7/2004 - Mike Danton

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- Mike Danton of the St. Louis Blues
plotted to kill his agent for at least six months and tried on at
least three occasions to hire a hit man, prosecutors said Friday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Massey confirmed for the first
time that agent David Frost was Danton's intended victim. Frost had
repeatedly denied reports he was the target, and did so again
Friday.

"If the government wants to hang their hat there, that's up to
them," Frost said in a telephone interview. "I am absolutely
positive I was not the target."

During a detention hearing Friday, Massey said the evidence in
the case "is strong."

"We have multiple taped conversations where the defendant is
speaking to the confidential informant, in which it is clear" that
Danton was arranging a murder for hire, Massey said.

U.S. Magistrate Clifford Proud ordered Danton, who was arrested
April 16, to remain jailed and set trial for July 20.

The FBI's criminal complaint said Danton was concerned that his
intended target planned to go to the Blues with information that
could damage his career.

Frost has said Danton was delusional and was using painkillers
and sleeping pills in the hours before he allegedly tried to hire
the hit man.

Danton's attorney, Bob Haar, had asked Proud to assign Danton to
a hospital for psychiatric evaluation and treatment of an injured
shoulder.

Massey, however, said Danton was a flight risk who fled to an
airport when the FBI tried to arrest him at the team hotel in San
Jose, Calif. Haar said his client simply wanted to fly to St. Louis
and turn himself in.

Danton's mother, brother and aunt sat directly behind him in the
courtroom, but he did not acknowledge them. A native of Brampton,
Ontario, Danton has been estranged from his family for several
years, and legally changed his last name from Jefferson two years
ago.

"Hopefully he gets the help he needs," said Danton's mother,
Sue Jefferson. His younger brother, Tom, added: "I just hope that
everything works out for him."

Four of Danton's teammates -- Keith Tkachuk, Barret Jackman, Ryan
Johnson and Bryce Salvador -- also attended. They left without
comment.

Danton's alleged accomplice, 19-year-old Katie Wolfmeyer, of
suburban St. Louis, is free on $100,000 bond. Her trial is
scheduled to begin July 13.