Federal judge tosses Danton transfer appeal

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- A federal judge threw out an appeal
by former St. Louis Blues player Mike Danton, rejecting Danton's
latest attempt to be allowed to transfer to his native Canada to
serve out a prison sentence for a failed attempt to have his agent

In throwing out Danton's appeal, U.S. District Judge William
Stiehl found that Danton knowingly and voluntarily waived his right
to challenge the 7½-year sentence he got in November 2004 after
accepting a deal with prosecutors and pleading guilty to murder
conspiracy charges.

Last Thursday's ruling assures that Danton remains an inmate at
a prison in Fort Dix, N.J.

One of Danton's attorneys, Howard Kieffer of Santa Ana, Calif.,
said Thursday a decision on subsequent appeals would be made
"within an appropriate time period."

"There are other things we can do," he said, declining
additional comment.

Stiehl wrote that decisions on transfers to or from foreign
countries "is left entirely to the discretion of the Attorney

"The crux of [Danton's] argument is that since the Justice
Department did not issue a decision on his transfer request within
his desired time frame, that this Court's sentencing intent was
frustrated. The Court finds this argument to be unpersuasive,"
Stiehl wrote.

With Danton's July 2004 plea, prosecutors agreed not to oppose
Danton's deportation to Canada, where he said he wanted to get
behind-bars surgical treatment for a shoulder injury and therapy
for what his sentencing request called his "grave mental

Danton sued the U.S. government last November, contending that
it was unfair that he had not been transferred to Canada and
arguing that "similarly situated applicants have been approved for
removal to their home nations, which include Canada." Danton asked
to be resentenced.

The U.S. government insisted Danton's deal did not require a
transfer, only that he be considered for one.

Danton pleaded guilty to orchestrating a conspiracy to commit an
interstate killing targeting his agent, David Frost. The FBI
learned of the plot in advance, and Frost was unharmed.

In September 2004, a federal jury acquitted Katie Wolfmeyer of
Florissant, Mo., of charges she took part in the plot.