Danton receives lengthy sentence

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

The former Blues player must serve 7 1/2 years in prison for trying to arrange for the murder of his agent.

By Betsy Taylor ~ The Associated Press

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- Former St. Louis Blues player Mike Danton was sentenced Monday to 7 1/2 years in prison for trying to have his agent killed.

Danton, 24, said nothing as U.S. District Judge William Stiehl imposed the sentence.

"I do not believe in over 18 years on the bench I have been faced with a case as bizarre as this one," Stiehl said, noting that Danton chose a 19-year-old acquaintance and a police dispatcher as his would-be helpers in the murder plot.

The judge said the story Danton "concocted was not well thought out or very believable." He said, "The exact reasons you felt you needed to engage in a murder plot remain a mystery to me."

Danton is expected to ask to be moved to a prison in his native Canada. As for his hockey career, there is no parole in the federal system and, the judge noted, Danton might not be allowed to return to the United States after completing his sentence.

His contract with the Blues expired after the 2003-04 season.

At the sentencing, Danton's attorney, Robert Haar, apologized on behalf of Danton "for the pain and disappointment he has caused" his friends, teammates and fans.

"His aspiration now is to return to Canada and put his life back together again," Haar said.

Danton pleaded guilty in July to murder conspiracy charges. Prosecutors said he tried to hire a hit man to kill David Frost, his agent and Canadian youth hockey coach. A phone call to Frost was not immediately returned.

Authorities said Danton and Frost had argued over Danton's alleged promiscuity and alcohol use, and Danton feared Frost would tell the Blues' front office about his behavior.

In September, a jury acquitted Katie Wolfmeyer, 19, of Florissant, Mo., of charges she took part in the plot. Wolfmeyer claimed she did not know Danton was trying to hire a hit man when she introduced him over the phone to an acquaintance, Justin Levi Jones. Prosecutors said Danton offered Jones $10,000 to kill Frost.

The plot unraveled when Jones, a police dispatcher, went to authorities with cell phone recordings of some of his conversations with Danton.

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