Mike Danton's father, with whom the Blues player has been estranged for several years, said Sunday his son "needs help" and blames Danton's agent for his son's emotional problems, accusations the agent vehemently denies.
Stephen Jefferson spoke publicly for the first time since his son's arrest Friday in an alleged murder-for-hire plot.
The comments from the father came as Danton's representatives were still awaiting word on when the 23-year-old would be moved from a California jail to the St. Louis-area. The local attorney for Danton, Robert Haar, said he had not been informed when Danton would be moved or when a hearing will be held on the charges.
Danton was arrested Friday in San Jose, Calif., as a result of a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis by the FBI. The complaint alleges that Danton attempted to hire someone to murder an acquaintance whom Danton said was a hired killer coming to kill him.
Danton's agent, Dave Frost, said he spoke with Danton on Sunday and that "each day he's gotten better and that he appreciates all of the support he's received."
Jefferson spoke with several members of the media on Sunday, including the Post-Dispatch. He said that his relationship with his son ended "all because of David Frost."
"I haven't spoken to Mike in a long, long time," Jefferson said. "David is a monster, a manipulator. Mike and I got along fine until (his agent). ... I want David Frost to stay away from Michael."
Frost said: "For him to question my credibility is unconscionable."
Jefferson said his relationship with his son "dwindled" after Frost became Danton's agent, when the player was about 15, approximately eight years ago. Frost said that was about the time Danton came to him and "begged me to get him out of the house."
Nearly two years ago, Danton legally changed his name from Mike Jefferson to Mike Danton. He said in an interview in September that he had the name change to sever ties with his family.
Danton would not go into details about what led to that decision.
"He didn't change his name for no reason," Frost said. The agent added that it is "well-documented" with Danton's Canadian lawyer and with Canadian regional police "what Mike has gone through and what he has had to deal with. . . . It is all eventually going to come out and it will surface. This is really going to be a part of Mike's healing process."
Asked if he abused his son, Jefferson said: "No."
He said he had tried to contact his son at the California jail.
Frost said that in his talk with Danton on Sunday that Danton reiterated he wanted to seek counseling for what Frost called "paranoia," but also to deal with emotional turmoil he has kept mostly private.
The Jefferson family has contacted the NHL and the NHL Players' Association to get aid for Danton. When contacted the NHL said any help from a league-affiliated source would be confidential.
"My son needs help from doctors," Jefferson said.
The family for Katie Koester Wolfmeyer, 19, who was arrested in conjunction with Danton and charged by the FBI in the conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, also spoke publicly Sunday.
John Wolfmeyer, her uncle, said the family was "quite shaken and concerned completely with Katie's well-being."
John Wolfmeyer said Katie was still incarcerated, but her parents had gone to see her. When they first spoke with her, Katie told them she couldn't sleep and couldn't eat. On Sunday, she "ate a donut," John Wolfmeyer said.
"She's very bubbly, very family-oriented," her uncle said. "I know it's cliche to say the girl next door, but Katie's like the girl next door. There is a lot of support here for her and her family."
Katie Wolfmeyer is on an athletic scholarship at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, her uncle said. John Wolfmeyer had a hand-written set of notes from Katie's father about his daughter's academic record, her community and church involvement and her taking 15 hours of classes and working three jobs. One of those jobs was at the Blues' new practice facility, the ice rink at St. Louis Mills in Hazelwood.
The family did not know of a relationship with Danton, John Wolfmeyer said.
Questions outnumber the answers as to what the individual parties can say about the arrest and the charges as the parties are severely limited in what they can say. Representatives for Danton said information shedding light on Danton's background, why specifically he legally changed his name and why he had gone to lengths to avoid his father would be clear in the future. Also unknown is the identity of the acquaintance mentioned in the criminal complaint. The report is written as if to indicate that the acquaintance was the target of the alleged murder for hire.
Representatives declined to comment about specifics of the case.
The FBI could not be reached for comment.
"When this all comes out and the dust settles," Frost said, "the war of words won't matter."