Bizarre twist in Danton drama

STEVE SIMMONS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

There is no nice way of saying this: Mike Danton lied to the National Parole Board yesterday.

He told a whopper -- and they bought it hook, line and sinker.

The former hockey player, imprisoned for his bizarre and awkward role in a failed murder-for-hire plot, told the Parole Board that the target of his ire was not his disgraced agent, David Frost, but his estranged father, Steve Jefferson.

That is, in a word, nonsense.

"I'm so mad it's not funny," Steve Jefferson said yesterday. "I don't know if you can print what I'm really feeling.

"I can't believe the judicial system ... I want people to know that the system has failed us again and again and again. One of the conditions of his parole is he is not allowed to speak to me, but he is allowed to see Dave Frost with his parole officer's approval. Does any of this make sense to anybody?"

Danton was granted parole yesterday and, in fairness, he has done his time and then some for his amateurish plot to kill the controlling Frost. But even as he gets out, you have to wonder what could be gained by telling a tall tale on the road to freedom? Is Frost still that much a factor in his life that he can't deal with the truth? Or, is Frost, the creepy puppet-master, still pulling the strings?

Parole Board member Michael Cowley asked Danton the question as the matter of the murder plot came up: "It's clear that you thought it was your father who would do you harm?"

"Right," Danton said.

And now the story will go coast-to-coast as if it so, spreading mistruths when those familiar with the facts of this case certainly know better.

* Fact: Why would Danton be worried about Jefferson being in his home to kill him, when Frost basically lived in his home.

And for the record, Jefferson has never been to St. Louis.

* Fact: Jefferson had not spoken to his son since a brief telephone conversation the day after 9/11 in 2001. At the time, Danton was trying to make the New Jersey Devils.

Jefferson, for the record, has never been to New Jersey.

* Fact: A taped FBI prison conversation between Danton and Frost just after his arrest in April of 2004 basically proves that the story of Jefferson as a target was concocted by Frost. On that tape, which was acquired by Sun Media, Frost tells Danton he plans on telling the FBI that after scoring a goal, Danton had a nightmare, woke up in a confused sweat, dreaming that his father was standing over the bed with a gun over his head. Later in the same conversation, Frost says: "Hey, Mike, listen, do I have to worry about my safety anymore?"

Why ask about your safety if you weren't the target?

"Supposedly, he wasn't allowed to talk to Frost while in jail and Frost is still somehow controlling him. It's just a big joke," said the angry Jefferson. "The whole thing is a joke."

"I haven't spoken to Mike since 2001. I phoned him and he was on a team bus and said he couldn't talk. He said: 'Dad, I'll talk to you later.' That was the last time I talked to him."

Originally, Danton was sentenced to 71/2 years in prison in the U.S. but was transferred to a Canadian facility last March in the Kingston area. In making its ruling, the Parole Board indicated that Danton would be a low risk to society and has benefitted from therapy. They also said he showed remorse for what he had done.

They said nothing -- or seemingly knew nothing -- of him fudging the truth and making them look foolish by buying in.

STEVE.SIMMONS@SUNMEDIA.CA


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