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Danton pleads guilty

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Danton pleads guilty

Postby TC on 16/07/04, 16:09:18

STLtoday wrote:Danton pleads guilty in murder plot
By Michael Shaw
Of the Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Blues player Mike Danton today pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit interstate murder for hire in a plot to kill his agent.

The surprise plea came in federal court in East St. Louis. Danton faces a prison term ranging from 87 months to 10 years. Sentencing was set for Oct. 22.

He said nothing in the courtroom except to answer questions from U.S. District Judge William Stiehl, admitting to the facts in the indictment against him.

Federal prosecutors have agreed to let Danton serve his possible prison time in his native Canada. Stiehl told Danton that the agreement may bar him from re-entering the United States.

Originally, Danton, 23, had been scheduled to appear in court on Monday in connection with motions in the case. Instead, lawyers came to court today with the final plea agreement.

The plea was the second court hearing in the case this week. On Monday, Danton's alleged accomplice, Katie Wolfmeyer, 19, of Florissant, appeared in court. She is free on $100,000 bond and faces trial in September

Danton and Wolfmeyer had faced identical murder-for-hire conspiracy charges, with Wolfmeyer accused of trying to hire the would-be killer of Danton's agent, David Frost.

The would-be killer -- identified by the government for the first time in court Friday as Justin Jones, a Columbia, Ill., police dispatcher -- notified authorities, and Frost was unharmed.

Stephen Clark, the case's lead federal prosecutor said Danton promised to pay Jones $10,000 to kill Frost. Danton apparently said the person he wanted slain would be in Danton's suburban St. Louis apartment and that $3,000 would be left in an unlocked safe, Clark said.

Jones reported the plot, and authorities secretly taped many of the conversations Danton later had with Jones and Wolfmeyer.

In one such call, Clark said, Danton told Jones that somebody was coming from Canada to kill Danton and that Jones should make the killing look like a botched burglary.

In another conversation -- while Danton was with the Blues in California during the NHL playoffs -- Danton told Wolfmeyer, "I owe you guys so much," Clark said.

"Yeah, you do," Clark said Wolfmeyer replied.

Clark declined to say how Danton's guilty plea may affect the case against Wolfmeyer, scheduled for trial Sept. 1.

Wolfmeyer has been portrayed by her attorneys as a naive young woman simply smitten with an athlete who ultimately manipulated her. Donald Groshong, a Wolfmeyer attorney who attended Friday's hearing, said he hoped Danton's admission would lead the government to dismiss its case against Wolfmeyer.

Danton has been jailed since his arrest April 16 in San Jose, Calif., a day after the San Jose Sharks eliminated the Blues from the playoffs.

Danton's contract was not renewed by the Blues, his attorney said Friday.

ESPN wrote:Danton Pleads Guilty in Murder for Hire Plot
Friday, July 16, 2004

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- Former St. Louis Blues player Mike Danton admitted Friday that he sought to have his agent killed as part of a plot that unraveled when the would-be hit man turned out to be a police informant.

Danton pleaded guilty to a federal murder-for-hire conspiracy charge and could face seven to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines when he is sentenced Oct. 22.

"Obviously, this is what I think is a good result," prosecutor Stephen Clark said. "I think it's a fair deal."

Danton, 23, was to have been tried in September with co-defendant Katie Wolfmeyer, 19. He and Wolfmeyer, a college student from a St. Louis suburb, faced identical conspiracy charges, with Wolfmeyer accused of trying to hire the would-be killer of Danton's agent, David Frost.

The would-be killer -- identified by the government for the first time in court Friday as Justin Jones, a Columbia, Ill., police dispatcher -- eventually went to police, and Frost was unharmed.

The prosecutor told the Friday judge that Danton had promised to pay Jones $10,000 to kill Frost and make it appear like a botched burglary.

Investigators have said Danton was worried that Frost would go to the Blues with information that could damage his career. Frost has said he urged Danton to get help for his use of painkillers and sleeping pills and his erratic behavior.

Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, Danton hung his head occasionally when U.S. District Judge William Stiehl outlined the case against him. He replied to the judge's questions with a "yes" or "no" before declaring, "I plead guilty."

Danton has been jailed since his arrest April 16 in San Jose, Calif., a day after the San Jose Sharks eliminated the Blues from the playoffs.

Wolfmeyer has pleaded not guilty and is to be tried in September. Her lawyers have said she was naive young woman simply smitten with an athlete who ultimately manipulated her.

Federal prosecutors agreed to let Danton serve his possible prison time in his native Canada. U.S. District Judge William Stiehl told Danton that the agreement may bar him from re-entering the United States.

STLtoday wrote:We may never know why Danton went off the deep end
By Jeff Gordon
Of the Post-Dispatch

We may never know exactly why Blues winger Mike Danton went off the deep end.

We may never know all that happened between him and his agent/guru David Frost, all the strange events that led Danton to conspire to murder him.

We suspect that it's a very strange and troubling story, a cautionary tale about a young man who left home at a young age, turned his life over to a youth hockey coach, disowned his family and then fell to pieces.

Folks viewing the Danton/Frost story from a safe distance hoped that a trial would produce some answers. We all wanted to see Danton take the stand and explain why he allowed Frost to micromanage his life.

Why wanted to know why Danton became desperate to end his arrangement with Frost, so desperate that he saw murder as the only way out.

We wanted to see Danton put down his prepared statements, just once, and describe what exactly went haywire. We wanted to see why a young man would fall into such a pathetic state, even after his NHL career was just taking off.

People familiar with Danton, his family and his relationship with Frost insist there was quite a story to be told, one that would shed sympathetic light on his life . . . but now we may never really know what happened.

Danton decided to remain mum. In a sudden and startling decision, he admitted his guilt and returned to jail will his secrets safely intact.

By pleading guilty, Danton put himself in line for a long prison term. He faces a sentence of 87 months to 10 years, to be served in his native Canada.

By pleading guilty, Danton accepted that his promising hockey career was over and all his childhood dreams were dashed.

By pleading guilty, Danton allowed Frost, his intended target, to escape some much-needed scrutiny.

This was another curious turn in one of the most peculiar sports sagas of our lifetime.

Personally, I wanted to pity Danton. I wanted to believe that he was a good kid lured into a bad situation. I wanted to believe he was a needy, gullible, vulnerable kid that latched onto a manipulator.

I wanted to believe he developed deep psychological problems that explained his erratic behavior.

I wanted to believe he was a victim, not a criminal. As a parent of two teenagers, I shuddered at the news accounts and hoped for a happier ending. I wanted Danton to get help, not a long prison term.

But Danton went to the courthouse Friday and took the fall. He owned up to one of the most idiotic, implausible, ill-fated criminal plots of all time.

The stupidity of it all would make for an excellent comedy – except that the end result, a life needlessly, is so tragic.

the original "WTF?" thread we had on danton got corrupted so to speak, sorry - we lost those posts.

this kid could have been a 15-20-year player and had an impact every year. sad.
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Postby Alexhead on 16/07/04, 16:17:11

Sad story! I hope he gets the help he needs.
"I'm like a dog chasing cars, I wouldn't know what to do if I caught one. . . . I'm not a schemer. I just do things."
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Postby TC on 08/10/04, 14:31:04

new story from ESPN insider mag:

Easy Prey
By Gare Joyce and Bruce Feldman

The teenage girl with the purple ribbon in her hair was still waiting for the man with the gun to show. The plan was that they would rendezvous at the Denny's parking lot at 10 p.m. The man called her cell phone at 10:15 to say he was running late, he'd be there soon, and hung up. In fact, he still had to pick up the gun.

By 10:30 p.m. last April 15, Katie Wolfmeyer, a 19-year-old nursing student who'd never had so much as a parking ticket, and Justin Levi Jones, the 19-year-old gunman, were making the short drive to a townhouse-style apartment complex in Brentwood, an upscale St. Louis suburb. Jones told the guard at the gate that they wanted to see Mike Danton. They knew that Danton, a 23-year-old wing with the St. Louis Blues, wouldn't be home. He was with his teammates in San Jose, trying to overcome a 3-1 series deficit in a first-round playoff matchup with the Sharks. Two nights earlier, Danton -- a guy whose grit and edge made up for his lack of size and skill -- had scored his first postseason goal, in a loss.

The security guard called Danton's apartment, and a chubby man in his mid-30s appeared at the second-floor railing. He yelled down, asking Jones who he was; Jones got nervous and gave a false name. When the chubby guy said he was Danton's father, Jones drove away. But the man on the railing, who was actually Danton's agent, David Frost, was unsettled by this unexpected guest. He called his client in San Jose. Then, after talking with Danton, he called the police and began babbling. He said he'd known Danton for years ... that Danton had given him a key to the apartment ... that Danton had begged him not to go to Blues management and ruin his career ... that he had threatened to leave Danton.

Meanwhile, another call was taking place, this one between Danton and Jones, the man the player had hired to make the hit. Danton told Jones that if he got picked up by police, he should say he didn't know Danton, that he had accompanied Wolfmeyer to her boyfriend's apartment because she was uncomfortable going alone. "This is the only way we can both get out of this," Danton said.

But there was no way out. At 12:30 a.m., FBI agents arrested Wolfmeyer on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, after the distraught student signed a confession. Investigators retrieved three messages Danton had left on Wolfmeyer's cell phone between 12:26 and 12:33 a.m., instructing her what to tell police. With written consent from Danton's "father," agents searched his apartment. They found, just as the alleged gunman told them they would, $3,000 in an unlocked safe in Danton's closet -- the downpayment for the hit. On the morning of April 16, hours after his team was eliminated from the playoffs, Danton was arrested in San Jose on the same charge as Wolfmeyer.

He's been sitting in a jail cell ever since.

* * *

IT ALL began eight years ago, when Mike Danton was still known as Mike Jefferson, in a place a long way from St. Louis, the kind of place where living on the edge is a short drop into an abyss. The edge in this case was Room 22 at the Bay View Inn, in Deseronto, Ontario. And if you had gone there and peeked inside, you would have caught a glimpse of the dark world that Mike Danton entered and never escaped from.

You can't see the Bay of Quinte from the Bay View Inn. In fact, all you can see, other than the highway out of Deseronto, is a gas station and a rope factory, the main source of employment in this town of 1,900 located next to a Mohawk reserve. Even the waterfront isn't very scenic. Out-of-towners, few and far between, head to the vineyards and sand dunes in the neighboring county. Fishermen blow in during the season; road crews show up for summer repairs. That's about it. There's no pool at the Bay View, no health club, only the lingering smell of cigarette smoke and spilled beer floating up from the diner and bar on the main floor. The place is made up of convenience suites, with kitchenettes and fold-out sofa beds in the living rooms.

It's not the sort of home away from home that parents envision for their kids. Steve and Sue Jefferson say they never imagined their son spending his nights in a place like that. They were just letting Mike pursue his dream. Sending a boy off to another town to play hockey in a better league is a rite of passage for Canadians, a source of pride. That's what Walter and Phyllis Gretzky felt when they sent 14-year-old Wayne from Brantford to Toronto. Same with Barney and Rose Tootoo, when 14-year-old Jordin left their Arctic Circle town of Rankin Inlet for Edmonton. It's why Steve and Sue Jefferson sent Mike from Brampton, Ontario, to Deseronto in the fall of 1996. Like all the others, they say, they were hoping, trusting, he'd live with a good family and eat good meals and develop into the kind of player who'd have a good NHL career.

And Mike Jefferson was good, a grinder who never quit. But coming up on his 16th birthday, he was at a crossroads. He'd come off a championship season with the Young Nats in Toronto, a program that produced Eric Lindros, Adam Graves and dozens more NHLers. Mike was a small, scrappy kid. He needed to keep improving, to find tougher competition. He needed to grow up as a player, to go from a league for boys to a league for men.

He needed to go to Deseronto, David Frost told him. Frost was 29, another Brampton guy. He claimed to have competed in high juniors, but at least one of his former players says, "I don't think he ever played -- he couldn't even skate." Frost had been Mike's coach with the Young Nats, but his undisciplined behavior got him fired. His teams brawled constantly, and during one locker room rant, he reportedly dumped a garbage can over a player's head. Despite his rep, the Quinte Hawks offered him an assistant's job. It was just about the last stop for a guy who'd also been accused of serving booze to 14-year-olds. "He'd run out of places where he could coach," says John Gardner, president of Toronto's minor hockey association.

Frost told Mike that Quinte was the perfect step up for him, the same thing he told Mike's best friend and teammate, Sheldon Keefe (now with the Phoenix Coyotes). The two told anyone who'd listen that they would make the NHL someday. Now here was a chance to turn the dream into a reality -- and for Mike to escape a nightmare. He hated Brampton, his rundown house, the broken vending machines and catering trucks (his parents worked in the food service business) parked in front. There was another reason, say sources close to the family. "He just hated his father," says former classmate Matthew Plastow. "He was embarrassed by his drinking." But whether Mike was breaking away from a dysfunctional home -- a characterization Steve rejects -- or the Jeffersons were just supporting their son's career path, the end result was the same. Mike told his parents he was leaving, and they let him go.

Frost quickly put his stamp on the Hawks. Fights started in warmups and continued in arena hallways. The fans loved it. The players might as well have been rock stars. The first-year franchise, with the youngest lineup in the league, reeled off 20 straight wins in one stretch. "We had Frosty to thank for that team," says arena manager Dennis Vick. "He made those players what they were."

But the show had its troubling side. Elena Phillips, the retired nurse who welcomed Jefferson into her home, sensed something wrong about this team right from the start. It wasn't so much the hazing stories she heard -- a bunch of boys crawling around a room on their knees, naked, marsh-mallows in their butts. No, Phillips was worried about Mike spending so much time with his coach in Room 22 at the Bay View Inn.

Frost had checked into the motel with three of his players from Brampton: Keefe, 16; Larry Barron, 20; and Darryl Tiveron, 21. Around Deseronto, Room 22 soon developed a reputation as party central. Local girls -- "puck bunnies" -- dropped by all the time. When the manager imposed a 10 p.m. curfew, they climbed in the second-floor window. "Frost told me, 'Don't worry about Mike, he's having lots of sex,' " Steve Jefferson says. "I asked him how he knew, and he said, 'I'm right beside him.' "

"We heard all about stuff going on at the motel," says one former Hawk who didn't participate. "At the time I didn't think it was anything unusual. Now I look at it, and a 30-year-old coach was partying with 16- and 17-year-old guys and girls in the room. Yeah, that seems weird."

Eventually word got back to some of the parents. Deseronto police chief Norm Clark says that he and head coach Greg Royce, who had lost control of the team, expressed their concerns to the Jeffersons and Keefes, but the parents were too caught up in their sons' dreams to hear it. Adds John Boultbee, a former Hawks assistant, "Greg told Steve Jefferson he was worried about what was going on, and Steve told him, 'You're not the one who knows hockey. Mind your own f---ing business.' " But things came undone when Frost sucker-punched Tiveron on the bench during a game (punishment for playing soft). Town cops saw it and charged him with assault. Frost was suspended by the league and pleaded guilty in court. The Hawks faded in the playoffs. "The guys who were tight with Frost just quit on the team," says one player.

That effectively finished Frost's coaching career, but it didn't end his ties with Danton. From 1997 to 2000, the player bounced around the OHL, from the Sarnia Sting to the St. Mike's Majors in Toronto to the Barrie Colts. Frost was a constant presence at every stop. In Sarnia, he would follow Mike back to his room and spend hours with him behind closed doors. At St. Mike's games, he sat in the stands, giving "his kids" hand signals, positioning them on faceoffs. One GM called him a lunatic. But Steve Jefferson was still talking like he had faith in Frost, telling the Toronto Sun that Frost "was the best thing ever to happen to my kid."

Mike was on the cusp of the NHL, and he was desperate to make the leap. The scrawny kid had turned himself into a buff bruiser, but most teams were scared off by his past. "Our sports psychologist talked to him before the draft," says one scout. "We heard all the anger about his family. We knew about his association with Frost. We didn't want anything to do with him." But New Jersey did, taking Jefferson in the fifth round of the 2000 draft. Though the image-conscious Devils seemed an unlikely fit, they were impressed with his grit -- if not his agent. By that time, Frost had been certified by the NHLPA, and his two NHL clients were Jefferson and Keefe, Tampa's 1999 second-round draft choice.

The Jeffersons had gradually lost touch with their older son. "The Mike we knew never really came back [from Deseronto]," Steve says. "We lost him there." That's why it was such a surprise when, in the summer of 2000, Mike invited his 13-year-old brother, Tom, to Frost's cottage near Kingston, 150 miles east of Toronto. Tom had grown up from tag-along little bro into a legitimate prospect -- a bigger, tougher version of Mike at the same age. Their parents figured the time at Frost's cottage would give the boys a chance to get close again. But looking back now, they're convinced Frost planned to recruit Tom, to steal away their younger son like he'd done with Mike.

One night, Tom called home from the cottage. "He told me that he'd been assaulted, tied up to a bed frame naked, had a gun pointed at him," Steve says. "He was terrified." Steve phoned the Ontario Provincial Police. They went to the cabin, but Frost and the others there -- including Mike -- gave conflicting accounts of what happened. An investigation ensued, and a photograph of Tom tied up was discovered, but no charges were filed.

While stories about Frost and his Quinte Hawks are disturbing, they're not surprising to those familiar with hockey culture. In the 1980s, there were whispers about juniors coach Graham James making unwanted advances toward players (he pleaded guilty in 1997 to sexually abusing two players), but everybody looked the other way at the time. Why? Nobody wanted to hear about it. "Hockey tolerates or encourages deviant behavior more than other sports," says Dr. Cal Botterill, a sports psychologist and former pro player. "It's worst below junior hockey. Sexual humiliation enforces a code of silence. Go to the authorities, and you're a victim again. It takes courage to reach out."

Steve and Sue Jefferson say that Mike broke off all contact with the family after the cottage incident. In July 2002, he legally changed his name to Mike Danton, taking the first name of a kid he'd met at a hockey camp. The Jeffersons found out about it the way everyone else did -- in the sports section. Meanwhile, Mike's career was stalled. He left the Devils during his second season over a dispute about an injury he said he suffered in training camp. GM Lou Lamoriello wanted to send him to the minors, but Danton refused, instead moving to California to live with Frost for three months. The player earned a place in Jersey lore by proclaiming that he "wasn't drinking Lou's Kool-Aid." Although the Devils took him back, he played just 19 games over three seasons before being traded to St. Louis.

Danton skated on the Blues' fourth line last season, going harder than ever. He was, in coach-speak, a high-energy guy: in 68 games, he scored seven goals while piling up 141 penalty minutes. He enjoyed St. Louis, the organization and the city's nightlife. In fact, he had discovered quite a bit of Deseronto in the Gateway to the West.

One day, following a Blues practice at the Ice Zone, Danton introduced himself to a tall blonde named Katie Wolfmeyer, a rink employee -- but no puck bunny. She was a standout volleyball player on scholarship at a local community college, an honor student studying nursing while juggling three jobs. "Katie's the last girl you'd ever expect to get into trouble," says one of her teachers at Central High. Most around the Ice Zone knew about Danton's party boy rep and his fondness for strippers. But he was also a charmer.

"Nicest guy on the team," says one Zone regular. It wasn't long before Katie was smitten. The bond was strengthened when Danton -- in the midst of his first playoff run -- broke down and let her know he was living in fear. Someone, he told her, was out to get him. Someone was coming from Canada to kill him.

That call came on April 14, while she was driving around with some friends. Katie asked them if anybody knew someone who would do anything for a friend. One of the people in the car said yes. He was Levi Jones, whom Wolfmeyer had met just hours earlier. Jones had done a two-semester internship with the local police during his senior year of high school before moving on to answering phones as a part-time dispatcher for a tiny western Illinois PD. He dreamed of joining the FBI, and spun tales to impress the girls. Although Jones told Katie he was interested, he didn't know what was actually going down until Katie handed him the phone. Jones says Danton told him a Canadian hitman was coming to kill him over a debt. He then allegedly offered Jones $10,000 to kill the hitman. Jones said he'd need more details and gave Danton his number.

Danton dialed Jones (who was recording the call) at 12:02 a.m. on April 15. He told Jones that Wolfmeyer would take him to the apartment, and that Jones should make it look like he had killed a robber. Danton said the police could be led to believe that there were actually two burglars, and that one had killed the other in an argument. Throughout the conversation, Danton kept asking if there was any way Jones could do the job that night. "I'm pretty much begging," he said. "I wouldn't resort to this if it wasn't a matter of life and death." Jones, now scared and realizing that Danton was dead serious, contacted the FBI. He was told to pretend to go along with the plot.

What had driven Danton to such a fragile state? Federal prosecutors say he was afraid of Frost. The criminal complaint said Danton was trying to kill a male acquaintance with whom he had fought over Danton's "promiscuity and use of alcohol," and that Danton feared the man would ruin his career. In the early morning hours of April 16, the FBI recorded a conversation between Frost and Danton, in which Danton tearfully explained he ordered the killing because he felt his agent was "going to leave him."

When the story broke after Danton's arrest, few people outside of the NHL had ever heard of him. But that all changed, due in some part to the ambiguous language in the FBI's affidavit: acquaintance ... promiscuity ... threatened to leave Danton ... ruin his career ... backed into a corner ... have him murdered.

Suddenly, Mike Danton was the lead character in a reality show directed by the Coen Brothers. Canadian papers ran headlines like "NHLer Charged in Gay-Slay Plot."'s message boards crackled -- finally, an outed gay man playing in a major sport. Teammates didn't know what to think. Veteran Doug Weight said what Danton did in his personal life was his own business: "Let's preface it by saying who knows what the situation is. There are rumors of what went on and who exactly was involved with this so-called thing."

On May 21, Danton sat in an East St. Louis courthouse for his bond hearing. On that day, FBI agent John Jimenez testified that Danton's road roommate, Ryan Johnson, had described the relationship between Frost and Danton as "strange and bizarre," and that investigators had interviewed two other witnesses who said Danton tried to hire them to kill Frost six months earlier. The judge listened to three of 79 recorded conversations between Frost and Danton as they discussed an insanity defense. "It's not an option to go to court," Frost implored. "If we go to court, you are f---ing done. Are we clear? There is one way and one way only, and that's psychiatric treatment. Because you really do need it."

Later that summer Sue Jefferson mailed Mike a note saying she hoped the ordeal would bring the family together again. He sent it back to her torn to shreds.

"The truth is all going to come out eventually," Frost says now. After three months of unreturned phone calls, he has called to say his public image is all wrong. He's still Danton's friend and always will be. He's no Svengali, just a coach who made mistakes and had to reinvent himself as an agent to stay in the game. He denies he was the murder target. He says Danton is innocent of the charges he pleaded guilty to in July. Above all, he insists he never preyed upon or exploited Danton. His client just has some serious problems.

"Mike is bipolar," Frost claims. "He has a borderline personality disorder: Big Mike and Little Mike. Big Mike can function in a lot of situations, but he reverts to Little Mike -- emotionally needy, helpless -- when he's alone. It's when he's Little Mike that he has his problems. Mike is delusional. He sees things that aren't there. I was with him one night when he was driving home from the arena after a game [last spring]. He was taking all these side streets, going way out of his way. He said, 'He's following me.' I said, 'Who?' And he said, 'My father.' His father had never come down to St Louis, but Mike was sure he was there.

"The Feds know he shouldn't be going to jail, that he needs help. We wanted this to go to court. We think we would have won. But he had to think about what he was looking at if he lost. I've been accused of being a manipulator, but what are Scotty Bowman and Pat Burns and Mike Keenan? They're all manipulators. That's what a coach is supposed to do."

* * *

IT'S OCTOBER, what should be hockey season, and almost everything about it feels wrong. The players are locked out, the NHL's future is in jeopardy and two of its brightest stars -- Todd Bertuzzi and Dany Heatley -- are awaiting trial. We should be talking about Tampa's chances of repeating. Instead, the only news on the horizon is the ending of this sad, twisted story about these sad, twisted people. Danton will be sentenced on Oct. 22, and is looking at seven to 10 years in prison. Wolfmeyer's trial ended with an acquittal. (One of the jurors said Wolfmeyer was "not innocent by any means of everything she's done, but prosecutors didn't present evidence to prove she was guilty.") Jones has enlisted in the Navy and soon will begin basic training.

In Deseronto this summer, the provincial police questioned locals about David Frost and his time there. At least two women are said to have come forward with sexual-exploitation complaints dating back to his season with the Hawks. (Frost maintains he's innocent, and no charges have been filed.) Detectives from the small-business division were also looking into the team's financial dealings.

Meanwhile, back in Brampton, a familiar rite of fall has already played out. In September, Steve and Sue Jefferson sent 17-year-old Tom off to Windsor, to play for the OHL's Spitfires.

It's that first big step toward making his dream come true.

it's a good read. very sad story, really. i feel so bad for the guy, he was a great player for his role... :|
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Postby TC on 27/10/04, 09:34:38


The Hockey News wrote:Danton's tragic tale
October 27, 2004

The sentencing of Mike Danton on charges he tried to arrange the murder of his agent does not represent the end of one of hockey’s most sensational stories ever.

Not by a long shot.

It very much remains a work in progress and the key players continue to be 23-year-old Danton, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound agitator with limited skill who beat the odds by making it to the NHL; his controversial agent, David Frost, who has been accused of being a cult-like leader with a small, dedicated following of players who look out for one another; and Danton’s family, his mom and dad, Steve and Sue Jefferson, and 17-year-old brother, Tom. (Danton changed his surname in 2002.)

Danton was expected to receive a jail sentence of between seven and nine years Oct. 22, the day after his 24th birthday. Because he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring and using a telephone across state lines to arrange a murder, rather than go to trial, he is not expected to receive the maximum. Danton originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his mind prior to the start of his trial which was to begin July 20. It is expected he will be transferred to a Canadian prison, where he will serve his term.

Frost said he would not attend the sentencing and feels that after months of receiving psychiatric help that Danton’s life has made a dramatic turn for the better. Nor will Danton’s parents be there – heaven forbid the two of them and Frost should be caught dead in the same room.

Frost thinks he knows how things will shake down.

“What we expect him to get is 7.3 years in the States,” said Frost from his Kingston home Oct. 12. “He’s 28 months from a full parole and 14.5 months from day parole. For every two months he has done in the States, he’ll automatically in Canada get one month free. We’re going to apply when Mike gets to Canada to get 2-to-1 time for the time he has already served, which is what judges in Canada automatically give somebody when they do any pre-sentencing or pre-plea time. So basically he’ll land here in either March or June and he’ll be out.”

Frost has it all figured out – just like he always has where Danton is concerned.

Danton has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill a man; everybody but Frost acknowledges that man is Frost himself, and Frost is still trying to control Danton’s life.

The Jeffersons hope one day to be reunited with their son, to be a family again, even though that seems unlikely to happen any time soon. Frost says Danton remains firmly aligned with him.

It is no secret David Frost and Steve Jefferson are mortal enemies. You can’t have a conversation with one in which they don’t try to bury the other.

Frost accuses family of abuse

Frost alleges Jefferson is a hard-drinking abusive father who failed to provide his son with the basic necessities of life. He claims both parents were neglectful of Mike, who, according to Frost, grew up in a filthy home with dog feces scattered all over the floor. According to Frost, the root of Jefferson’s bitterness toward him is not about the lost relationship with his son, but his inability to cash in on his son’s wealth.

On Frost’s accusation that Danton was abused at home, Jefferson offers: “Let’s see, Michael left home at 15 years old, tried to kill Frost at 23 years old and that was because of abuse he received at home. How does that add up?”

When The Hockey News visited the Jefferson home last spring, it was neat and clean. The family pet, a German shepherd, was very friendly, well-behaved and didn’t leave its calling card on the floor during a two-hour visit.

Steve and Sue Jefferson, along with Tom, seem like a nice family who genuinely miss Mike and wish he would return home to them. The Jeffersons might not be Ossie and Harriet, but they certainly aren’t Ozzy and Sharon.

Since her son has become estranged, Sue Jefferson has good days and bad days. She says she misses Mike dearly and worries about him constantly. At the same time, she has tried to maintain a sense of humor.

“We jokingly have said we should change our name to Danton,” Sue said. “That would get (Frost).”

Steve Jefferson says Frost has turned their son against the family and has turned other players he has represented against their families. For his part, Frost suggests two of his other clients, brothers Sheldon and Adam Keefe, have made inroads in the past year towards building a better relationship with their parents from whom they have been estranged. Jefferson, who knows the Keefes, says that is not true.

It has been reported Frost’s own wife, Bridget, has become estranged from her family. Bridget’s father, the late John McAuley, was one of the best NHL referees of all time, and her brother, Wes, currently referees in the NHL.

Jefferson says Frost tried to recruit Tom and wonders why, if life is so tough in their home, Tom seems to be prospering with no desire to leave his parents. Tom Jefferson is a rookie with the Ontario League’s Windsor Spitfires this season.

Blinded by hockey dream

There was a time when Jefferson thought Frost was sent to him by the hockey gods. He thought Frost’s influence on his son was Mike’s ticket to the NHL.

Despite Frost’s growing reputation as a loose cannon who was too tough on his players at the rink and too lenient and involved with them away from it, Jefferson proclaimed Frost to be, “the best thing” that ever happened to Mike.

Today, he regrets ever having said – or having believed – that.

“I was chasing the Canadian dream,” Jefferson admitted. “Things were going on and Sue picked up on it way before I did. I turned a blind eye to things.”

The dream, he said, was for his son to play professional hockey, not for he and his wife to live off their son’s earnings. In fact, Jefferson insists it is Frost who now controls and lives off Danton’s money.

Danton met Frost when they were 11 and 25 years old, respectively. Frost became his coach, then his agent. After Frost coached the Toronto Young Nats to the Ontario bantam championship in 1995-96, he arranged for a group of his players to skate for the expansion Jr. A Quinte Hawks the following year. It was while playing with Quinte that Danton began to pull away from his parents. The Jeffersons claim they were told by Frost, an assistant coach with Quinte, they were welcome to watch their son play, but to keep their distance following games.

It also has been reported that, despite being billeted with a retired nurse, Danton would spend most of his time away from the rink in Room 22 of the Bay View Inn in Quinte where Frost and two of Danton’s older teammates lodged and that it was a haven for the players to engage in sexual activity with female fans – groupies. Jefferson claims Frost bragged to him about the sexual activity that went on in Room 22.

Frost insists the accusations are false.

“I beg to differ,” Frost said. “It’s almost comical what has been said about what went on in Room 22. I was a coach on a team and we were told we had a hotel suite that was set up like an apartment with two 20-year-old guys and everybody thinks it’s a big deal because two 20-year-old guys had girlfriends.”

Frost defends his methods

Frost makes no bones about the fact he was tough and demanding as a coach, but says he always had his players’ best interest at heart. “Did I kick garbage cans and break a few sticks? Guilty,” Frost said. “But there isn’t a coach in the NHL today who hasn’t done that.”

If it seems a little strange that a player would try to have his agent murdered – on numerous occasions, according to the FBI – and yet would still be involved with that agent, then you have an idea of why this is such a bizarre tale.

Danton was arrested April 16 in San Jose, the day after the Blues were eliminated by the Sharks from the NHL playoffs. According to the FBI, Danton and accomplice Katie Wolfmeyer, a 19-year-old nursing student, hired Justin Levi Jones, a police dispatcher, to kill Frost. Danton allegedly told Wolfmeyer someone was trying to kill him and wondered if she knew anyone who would kill that person for $10,000. Jones took the job, but informed the FBI of what was taking place.

The FBI claims the relationship between Frost and Danton soured when Frost threatened to go to Blues management and tell them that Danton was drinking too much and was promiscuous. It was then, they say, that Danton went looking for a hit man.

Upon Danton’s arrest, he spent 12 days in a California jail before being transferred to Missouri. There, the FBI taped more than 1,000 minutes of conversation between Frost and Danton before the court banned Frost and his wife from having any contact with the prisoner.

Jefferson says that was a joke.

“Sure, Frost couldn’t talk to Mike, but (Frost associates) Shawn Cation and Larry Barron and Darryl Tiveron and Brad Bonello could,” Jefferson said. “If Frost wanted to get a message to Mike, he could do it through them.”

Frost bragged as much after the ruling was made.

According to the FBI, one conversation between Danton and Frost concerning the alleged hit went as follows:

Danton: I felt there was no other way.

Frost: Are you having those feelings now?

Danton: No.

After telling Danton he was willing to forgive him, Frost said: The attempt to hire somebody is awful what?

Danton: Stupid.

Frost says the conversation was taken out of context and alleges that Danton was trying to have his own father killed; that Danton believed his father was coming from Canada to kill him.

‘This guy is so nuts’

“Why would he want to kill our own son, we love him,” Sue Jefferson said. “God, any money he has made he has worked really hard for and deserves it all for himself. Why would we want to take anything off of him? Geez, this guy (Frost) is so nuts and what he’s doing to people is nuts.”

Wolfmeyer was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder and interstate use of a telephone in crime. Some jurors said afterwards they didn’t feel she was entirely innocent, and that a lot of lies were told during the trial, but the prosecution failed to prove she was guilty. Wolfmeyer had faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Frost says Danton’s plan is to speak out about his troubled past following the sentencing. Danton, according to Frost, will waive his doctors’ confidentiality clause and allow them to speak about what they have determined happened to him psychologically. Frost also says Danton plans to start a foundation to assist abused athletes.

Frost claims Danton has made great strides in therapy and has high hopes that he will be able to resume his NHL career after getting proper legal clearance. Frost says he will be surprised if Danton is not signed by an NHL team following his release from prison.

“I have already talked to (teams) that have interest in him as long as his paperwork is OK and the doctors have cleared him,” Frost says.

“We’re not talking about a criminal here. We’re talking about somebody that had a significant sickness. Michael was sick. He had strong addictions and doctors have told him they are hereditary.

“There is some significant drug and alcohol abuse problems in the history of the family and they date back more than one generation. Mike was addicted. When he was in Albany, N.Y., playing hockey, he got into alcohol. We got him off that. A few years later he suffers a significant injury on his shoulder in early December…and from that point on Mike abused painkillers to the point where he was overdosing on a regular basis. He has a fear of being alone and uses females to try to intercede that feeling he has that he’s alone and scared.

“The forensic doctor got to the bottom of what the problem was. He did an excellent job drilling to the core of Mike and finding out what the issues are. Now he’s well on his way to a healthy recovery.”

There are those who believe as long as Danton remains involved with Frost, he will never be totally recovered.

But that is a theory the new and improved Mike Danton will have to ponder on his own.
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Postby TC on 08/11/04, 17:16:50

...and the verdeict:

KSDK wrote:Danton Gets 7.5 Years For Murder For Hire Plot

Associated Press Writer

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- Former NHL tough guy Mike Danton was sentenced Monday to 71/2 years in prison for trying to have his agent killed.

Danton, 24, said nothing as U.S. District Judge William Stiehl imposed the sentence on the former St. Louis Blues player.

"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.

Danton is expected to seek transfer 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 may 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 teammates and fans.

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

Danton pleaded guilty July 16 to murder conspiracy charges. Prosecutors said he tried to hire a hit man to kill David Frost, his agent and Canadian youth hockey coach.

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.

A jury Sept. 20 acquitted a one-time girlfriend, 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 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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Postby Kanuck on 08/11/04, 22:54:14


Wow, your justice system down there is a wee bit tougher than I thought. Poor fella, probably never knew better...
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Postby TC on 11/11/04, 17:17:46

the saga continues, and frost becomes slimier...

Canoe wrote:Frost truly is chilling
Danton murder-for-hire case over but sordid saga continues

By STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

Under the dark umbrella of David Frost's murky world, truth is so often trampled upon.

It is beneath that cloud of contradiction and suspicion that a not-so-innocent kid who has chosen to call himself Mike Danton has been sentenced to 7 1/2 years of prison time.

Danton gets jail time for his role in a bungled murder for hire of mentor Frost, a plot so ill-conceived that the presiding judge described it as "hapless."

Frost, who is guilty of nothing under the law -- but on moral and ethical grounds you can decide for yourself -- walks freely, losing only what little may be left of a soiled reputation. His promise as agent, friend, surrogate father, that the "truth would come out in court" seems like so many of his promises, laughable yet chilling.

"The exact reason or reasons why you felt you had to engage in this murder plot remain a mystery to me," Justice William D. Stiehl told Danton in an East St. Louis court room. Typically, Danton, the former Mike Jefferson, said nothing.

"I have so many questions, so many questions I want to get an answer to," said another kid, Katie Wolfmeyer, the teenager who was infatuated with Danton and earlier was found not guilty for her involvement, in speaking with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "But the person I want to ask I'll probably never talk to again."

In court, they ask for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and who is to know exactly what went down here. All we can do is surmise.

Maybe in a moment of clarity, Danton determined that he needed the controlling Frost gone from his life. Maybe he needed that clean break.

Maybe for one day or one cloudy minute, he thought for himself instead of allowing Frost to think or speak for him, and it cost him some of his life and almost certainly his career in hockey.


Pathetically, Danton was better off when Frost was doing the talking and thinking for him. When left to his own devices, he ended up being found guilty of a capital crime.

David Frost has said in interviews this week he is still Mike Danton's agent. Exactly why Danton needs an agent for now -- if he is sent to a Canadian prison, he will not be eligible for parole until October 2006 -- is another matter entirely. What right-thinking National Hockey League team, assuming there is an NHL at that time, would consider signing a fourth-liner with a notorious resume?

So, Danton waits - maybe months - before he gets transferred to a Canadian prison from a penitentiary in Pennsylvania. And the fingerprints of Frost, sadly, remain suspicious back in the same hockey circles where he was first heard from.

Just last week, in an Ontario Hockey League game between Kitchener and Oshawa, a fight occurred in the third period. A fifth-year junior named Adam Keefe jumped a rookie named Tom Jefferson and pounded him off a faceoff.

Keefe, brother of Sheldon Keefe, is a Frost kid. Jefferson is Mike Danton's estranged brother. When Frost came chasing years ago, Jefferson ran away.

"Can I prove Frost was involved? No," said Oshawa general manager Brad Selwood, who was irate over the fight. "Was it premeditated? I can tell you that absolutely it was."

The cycle continues. The Danton case is over. David Frost is out there lurking in the shadows. The whispers never seem to stop.
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Postby TC on 17/11/04, 13:18:42

friggin' finally...

ESPN wrote:Frost banned from attending games, events

ATHENS, Ontario -- David Frost, the agent who represented jailed former NHL player Mike Danton, has been banned from attending games and events of the Central Junior A Hockey League.

"We don't want him around, period," commissioner Mac MacLean announced Tuesday.

The ban follows an incident in Jim Durrell Arena in Ottawa last Saturday in which Frost entered an area off limits to fans, a league news release said, adding that Frost "accosted, harassed and threatened an official of the CJHL."

"This was not the first instance of Mr. Frost harassing our officials and each time his manner has become more aggressive," the release added.

Frost could not immediately be reached Tuesday.

The Pembroke Lumber Kings were fined $1,000 for Frost's actions, because the CJHL considers Frost to be associated with the Lumber Kings as the agent of owner Sheldon Keefe, an NHL player.

MacLean said a photo of Frost is being sent to each team so security staff can identify Frost if he shows up at an arena.

Danton, 24, was recently sentenced in St. Louis to 7½ years in prison for a failed murder-for-hire plot. Prosecutors said the intended victim was Frost.
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Postby TC on 30/11/05, 09:47:58

TSN wrote:Details on Danton-Frost to be revealed

TORONTO (CP) - Bob McKeown has been involved in a multitude of projects as a reporter with CBC's The Fifth Estate, but he says the story of Mike Danton's relationship with agent David Frost is one of the most bizarre he's tackled.

"It's like a cross between an Elmore Leonard novel and a Coen brothers movie," says McKeown.

The Fifth Estate airs its Danton-Frost piece on Wednesday.

Danton was sentenced last December in Illinois to 7 1/2 years for a failed murder-for-hire plot. Prosecutors say Danton planned to kill Frost.

Danton, 25, of Brampton, Ont., was a forward with the NHL's St. Louis Blues in 2003-2004.

Leonard is a best-selling Detroit author who revels in mysteries, and Joel and Ethan Coen brought us movies such as The Big Lebowski and Fargo, but even they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything rivalling the Danton case.

Danton is in a Fort Dix, N.J., prison and has applied for a transfer to a Canadian facility. Frost continues to insist he is Danton's agent.

"Frost is screening his calls," says McKeown. "He's still his agent and the guy you go through to try to talk to Danton, which is one of the bizarre aspects of this story."

The Fifth Estate tracked down Frost a couple of weeks ago.

"He's a very blunt man," McKeown said. "He says he doesn't really want to talk until Mike Danton is transferred back to Canada because it might compromise the transfer."

But audio tapes obtained by The Fifth Estate of telephone conversations between Danton and Frost after Danton was arrested bring to life the bond that still exists between the two men.

On the tapes, Danton "reaches out to Frost," McKeown said. "You can hear in the conversations Frost reclaiming his position as Danton's mentor - telling him what to do, telling him what to say and how to say it."

Frost continues to stick to his story that he wasn't the intended target. He told McKeown that, if Danton is returned to Canada, "He'll reveal a story much bigger than anybody knows."

McKeown and his team gathered mounds of new material.

"We've gone back and put it together virtually from the time the then-Mike Jefferson met Frost at age 10, and we followed the course of the relationship all the way through," said McKeown.

Danton changed his name from Jefferson when he was in his teens, and he became estranged from his family. The documentary includes interviews with his parents.

While those who have followed the extraordinary case have been under the impression that one hit man was involved, there actually were two, The Fifth Estate reveals. The two divulge their conversations with Danton.

since i don't get this show down here, anyone up there want to hook me up?

Toronto Star wrote:'Okay, do you love me?'
Bizarre details of Danton saga revealed in tapes
Former NHLer, agent in strange relationship
Nov. 29, 2005. 09:50 AM

The saga of Mike Danton has become even more bizarre with the release of jailhouse tapes of conversations between the former NHL player and agent David Frost, the man he tried to have killed.

According to the tapes, a week after the Brampton native was arrested Frost counselled him to deny the agent was the target and to blame his parents for his emotional problems.

Danton is serving a 7 1/2-year sentence in a U.S. prison after pleading guilty to trying to arrange Frost's murder while the agent was staying at his apartment in St. Louis, Mo. A girlfriend who was charged as an accessory was acquitted.

The tapes are part of an investigation by CBC News: the fifth estate (tomorrow, 9 p.m.) that also exposes some of the strange goings-on at Frost's cottage, where he often hosted his young clients.

It also details a rather unusual relationship between the former St. Louis Blues forward and his agent.

In a phone call to Danton in a California jail in the spring of 2004, taped by the FBI, Frost tells Danton to ``show emotion" so he can get psychiatric counselling instead of facing a jury.

He then instructs him to deny that he owed Frost money ``so it takes away their motive."

Frost advises him to blame his emotional problems on his estranged parents. The conversation ends in an unusual exchange between an agent and his client.

``Hey, Mike. Listen ... do I have to worry about my safety any more?" says Frost, who still denies he was the target of Danton's botched contract killing.

``No, you don't," Danton replies. ``I got to go."

``Okay, do you love me?" Frost asks. When Danton says yes, Frost presses him: ``Say it."

``I love you," Danton says.

``Do you?"

``Yeah," is Danton's reply.

Fifth estate reporter Bob McKeown says this case is one of the most bizarre he's dealt with.

``The relationship between these two is even stranger than you ever could have imagined," he says. ``Within days of the would-be murder, Frost is back telling Danton what to do, what to say and how to say it.

``But all the time, Frost is denying that he was the target."

The CBC show leaves little doubt that Frost was indeed the target. The CBC found a strip club bouncer in East St. Louis, who says Danton offered him $10,000 to have ``something done" to Frost. He even told the bouncer when Frost would be at Danton's apartment so the hit could be made.

When the bouncer declined to return calls, Danton started pleading.

``It's a matter of life and death for me," he says in a taped phone conversation.

Eventually, Danton tried to hire a killer through a girlfriend. Unknown to her, the man she approached was an undercover police officer who turned them in.

The girlfriend was charged as an accessory, but was later acquitted.

The show delves into the long relationship between Danton and Frost.

It began when Danton, then Mike Jefferson, was only 11. Before becoming his agent, Frost spent several years coaching minor and junior hockey. While he was successful on the ice, his actions resulted in him being barred by several organizations.

The show also looks at an incident at Frost's cottage four years ago. According to Danton's mother, Sue Jefferson, her then 13-year-old son was invited to join his brother and several other hockey players at Frost's cottage.

Upset by the boy's demeanour when he returned, Sue Jefferson confronted him and heard a disturbing tale of physical and psychological abuse.

The boy told her he was ordered to wait for his breakfast until the older ones had eaten. When he took some pancakes before the others, he said Frost spit on them and forced him to eat them.

The boy also said he was forced up a tree while Frost took pot-shots at him with a pellet gun and was forced to dance naked for hours in front of the other boys. He was also photographed after being duct-taped naked to a bed.

While the Jeffersons considered reporting it to police, they doubted anyone would believe the story. But a few months later, they came across the pictures.

Frost denied anything improper took place and the other boys backed him up, claiming it was all in good fun.

The Jeffersons went to the police, but a crown attorney decided there was no case to pursue.

Shortly after that, Mike Jefferson changed his name to Danton and severed all relationships with his family.

The show ends with a combative Frost continuing to deny he was the target.

``When Mike Danton gets back, Mike Danton will talk and I will talk," he tells McKeown at a Pembroke arena, where he has ties to the local junior hockey team.

When McKeown says he has tapes that prove otherwise, Frost blames the FBI.

``(Danton) cannot expose the government for what really went on until he's on our soil," says Frost, who is still listed as an accredited agent on the National Hockey League Players' Association website.

He then accuses the FBI of lying.

``I know what happened," he says. ``And it's way beyond what any media outlet has even come close to."
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Postby TC on 01/12/05, 15:44:12

Mike Danton's father, Steve Jefferson, was arrested today for leaving harrassing voice messages on David Frost's answering machine. Jefferson is expected to be released this afternoon.

More to Come,

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Postby TC on 19/04/06, 09:07:35

Agent David Frost's prying into Mike Danton's sex life was the catalyst for the former NHL hockey player trying to hire someone to kill Frost, the CBC current affairs program The Fifth Estate reveals Wednesday night.

Reporter Bob McKeown used FBI interview tapes, plus interviews with one of Danton's former girlfriends and a male friend to piece together the new information.

The program also examines the close relationship between Frost and Bob Goodenow, the former executive director of the NHL Players' Association.

Just three days before his arrest, Frost, Goodenow and Danton had dinner together in St. Louis.

McKeown said Danton had a "voracious appetite for women" while playing with the St. Louis Blues, constantly telephoning Danton to find out who he was dating and the hours he was keeping.

"It just seems that at a point David Frost brought it to a head by saying he was coming to St. Louis to sort this out," McKeown said in a telephone interview. "That's when it appears Mike Danton started asking people to kill someone for him."

Danton, 25, was sentenced in 2004 to 7½ years in prison after pleading guilty in a $10,000 US murder-for-hire scheme. American prosecutors said Frost was the target, although Frost has denied that.

The prosecution argued Danton tried to have Frost killed because of concerns the agent planned to go to Blues management with information that could ruin Danton's career.

Recently, the U.S. government rejected Danton's request to be transferred to Canada to serve his sentence.

Goodenow and Frost have a relationship that dates back to the 1990s.

"It's a tangled relationship between the two of them that spans more than a decade," said McKeown.

The Fifth Estate first broadcast an investigation into the Danton case in November. The original plan was to repeat that show in the program's final broadcast of the season Wednesday, following the end of NHL regular season and before the playoffs.

McKeown said as more tips and information on Frost and the Danton case emerged, the decision was made to do a followup show.

Soon after the first Fifth Estate show, Frost resigned as a NHL player agent.

McKeown said attempts to interview Danton, who changed his last name from Jefferson, have failed.

"Access to him is controlled by David Frost," McKeown said. "The only way to convince Danton to talk to us would be to convince Frost to let him talk to us and that's not going to happen."

Frost has also refused interviews.

"We go to talk to him in this piece and he flees from us," McKeown said.
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby TC on 19/09/08, 14:28:42

danton's lawyer, um, wasn't:

AP wrote:Man accused of being fake lawyer won't defend self

A man accused of impersonating a lawyer in federal courts in at least 10 states has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges — and won't be representing himself at trial.

Howard O. Kieffer, 53, is director of Federal Defense Associates, of Santa Ana, Calif., which promises clients "specialized, creative and tenacious criminal defense, post-conviction representation and zealous Bureau of Prisons advocacy."

But Kieffer doesn't plan to exercise his right to defend himself. He pleaded not guilty to mail fraud and making false statements charges during his arraignment Monday.

Bismarck attorney Tim Purdon represented Kieffer at the arraignment, but said Kieffer intends to hire Joshua S. Lowther, of Savannah, Ga., as his defense attorney.

Court records say Kieffer represented a number of clients, including a former St. Louis Blues hockey player who pleaded guilty to plotting to kill his agent, and a Colorado woman who was convicted of soliciting the murder of her former husband.

Kieffer, of Duluth, Minn., remains free on bond.

He was granted permission in March 2007 to practice law in North Dakota's federal courts. He did not handle any North Dakota cases, but is accused of using his "good standing" in the state to get permission to practice in other federal jurisdictions. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ordered Kieffer disbarred last month.

The mail fraud charge carries a possible penalty of 20 years in prison, while the charge of making false statements is punishable by five years in prison. Both carry a possible $250,000 fine. The actual sentence would probably be much lighter if Kieffer is convicted, said U.S. Magistrate Charles Miller, who handled Kieffer's arraignment in Bismarck.

Kieffer defended former St. Louis Blues player Michael Danton, who was charged four years ago with plotting to kill his agent, David Frost. Danton pleaded guilty in July 2004. He is serving a 7 1/2-year sentence at a minimum-security federal prison in Sandstone, Minn.

Kieffer also defended Gwen Bergman, of Aspen, Colo., against charges that she used $30,000 from her mother's retirement fund to hire someone to kill her former husband.

U.S. District Judge Walker Miller, who heard Bergman's case in Colorado without a jury, found her guilty in May of two murder-for-hire felonies. Kieffer withdrew as her lawyer July 9, after The Denver Post reported that he never graduated from law school and was not licensed to practice law.

Miller has been considering whether to grant Bergman a new trial. Federal prosecutors have resisted the request, saying Bergman's defense team included a licensed attorney.

Kieffer runs an Internet discussion group on federal prison issues and has been quoted in The Washington Post, and other publications as an expert. The Association of Federal Defense Attorneys once offered an audio question-and-answer session with Kieffer as an opportunity for attorneys to earn required credits in legal education.

Robin Washington, the editorial page editor of the Duluth News Tribune, wrote in a column Monday that Kieffer had asked to be named as a citizen representative on the paper's editorial board.

"His name was put into consideration. We could do worse than have a nationally recognized federal criminal defense lawyer on our team," Washington wrote. "Except, by all indications, it looks like he wasn't one."

wow. can this get any more weird?
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby big d note on 19/09/08, 17:57:46

TC wrote:danton's lawyer, um, wasn't:

wow. can this get any more weird?

That's crazy. I look forward to watching the TV movie about Danton someday.
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby TC on 14/09/09, 21:36:23

HockeyBuzz wrote:At the same time, Mike Danton (Jefferson) was granted full parole last Friday from a minimum security dacility outside Kingston, On. Convicted in a murder for hire plot in 2004, Danton spent a little over two hours in front of the board, during which time he clarified that his former agent David Frost was not the target of the contract:

"He was not my intended victim - no. He was the official target of the crime, but he wasn't the intended target. He wasn't the person I believed was coming down from Canada to get me," Danton told the board.

The now 28-year-old said he was suffering from paranoia that someone was going to kill him and Frost in the spring of 2004. He never acknowledged it officially for the parole panel, but it is clear Danton was implying that his father was the threat to him.

At one point, panel member Simonne Ferguson asked Danton, "Would you have killed your father yourself?"

"I don't think so," Danton said. "I didn't want to do it myself. The easiest way was to get someone else to do it."

Now, I realize the fact that he has served his time allows for him to leave custody, but does anyone else find the fact that this conversation was followed by him being granted full parole kind of bizarre? Not in a legal sense, but more in the way the conversation would play out:

“Oh, I see know! It was your FATHER you wanted dead, and as most of us do, you found it easier just to hire someone to do it for you. Glad we cleared that up finally. Well, that takes care of that then. Here’s your full parole! Get outta here you rascal!! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t!”

in the immortal words of dr dre, "the muthafuckin saga continues..."
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby TC on 14/01/10, 13:53:56

STLtoday wrote:Danton gets OK to play college hockey

Mike Danton, the former Blues player convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, has been cleared to play hockey for St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Correctional officials allowed Danton, who lives in Toronto and has been given full parole, to make the move, school athletics director Steve Sarty said Wednesday.

Danton, 29, could begin classes as soon as today.

Convicted in 2004 in a murder-for-hire plot, Danton was released from a U.S. prison in March.

He returned to Canada and was granted full parole last September after admitting to the National Parole Board the target of the plot was his former mentor and agent, David Frost.
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby Alexhead on 17/01/10, 23:51:41

Man...good luck to him I guess.
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby TC on 30/09/10, 12:32:01

TSN wrote:Former agent Frost working at hockey facility in California

Disgraced former player agent David Frost has resurfaced in California where he is working under the name of Jim McCauley at a hockey facility that specializes in off ice training. He spoke to TSN on Tuesday.

"In respect to the equipment, we wanted to keep, or more so (company owner) Rob (Barth) wanted to keep, the attention on the equipment," said Frost.

"If Dave Frost was writing protocols for this equipment, showing people, teaching players correctly the benefit of this equipment, guess what the story is? It's not about the equipment. It's about David Frost; it's about Mike Danton and all the rest of it."

Frost also said there was a misconception about what type of work he was doing.

"It's not a hockey school or a hockey camp or whatever (Sun Media's Steve Simmons) wrote or innuendo he shot," said Frost.

"It's a facility where people fly in from anywhere in North America, and we've actually had guys in from Russia. They'll come in with a player; they'll sit down with us. We'll teach them the machines. We'll put their son or daughter on the machines. We'll show them what the machines can do and then they decide if they want to buy the machine."

can't believe this guy is allowed anywhere near hockey.
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby TC on 21/01/11, 13:30:44

Fox wrote:Danton eyes NHL again after jail stint
Despite spending five years in jail, Mike Danton still hopes to return to the NHL.

Mike Danton says he wants to return to the NHL more than five years after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the Unites States.

Danton's parole ends Friday. That will lift his travel restrictions and free him of regular checks with corrections officials.

He was released from a U.S. prison in March 2009 following his 2004 conviction in a failed murder-for-hire plot.

The 30-year-old Danton says he recognizes the obstacles to an NHL return. He's been out of the league for more than six years, and teams would be wary of him because of his conviction.

Danton played in the NHL with St. Louis and New Jersey and currently plays for the Saint Mary's Huskies in Halifax.

yeah, and i want to win the lottery. not gonna happen, mikey.
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby TC on 29/07/11, 14:33:14

"improve their attitude"???? yeah, like "here's what you do with people you don't like...."

ESPN wrote:Mike Danton signs with IFK Ore

Former NHL player Mike Danton has signed a one-year contract with Swedish club IFK Ore.

The 30-year-old Canadian spent five years in prison after being convicted in 2004 of conspiracy to commit murder in the United States.

Danton has played the past two seasons with the Saint Mary's Huskies in the Canadian university league, but is returning to the professional ranks with Ore, which plays in the third division of the Swedish league.

Ore general manager Jens Nielsen says Danton has been signed "to help our young players and improve their attitude."

"We know he's been playing in the NHL for many seasons and we are very excited to have him here," Nielsen said Friday.

Danton played in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and New Jersey Devils.

Danton was released from a U.S. prison in March 2009 following his 2004 conviction in a failed murder-for-hire plot.

i'm totally baffled. this wasn't dogfighting or shooting yourself in the foot - this was murder for hire, something straight out of murder she wrote with the soap opera drama. but hey, maybe in sweden, killer contract YOU!

good luck with all that, sweden....
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Re: Danton pleads guilty

Postby _Marcus_ on 30/07/11, 02:08:57

Thought it was very weird too, I must say. But it is after all our third div, for a team I hadn't even heard of before. He'll dissapear into obscurity in a couple of months.
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