Former NFL player Tommy Kane pleaded guilty yesterday in Quebec Superior Court to manslaughter in the death of his wife.

Kane, a receiver for the Seattle Seahawks from 1988 to '92, will have a sentencing hearing Sept. 27.

Tammara Shaikh, 35, died after police found her on the floor of a Montreal apartment on Nov. 30, 2003. Kane and Shaikh, who were separated, have four young children.

Shaikh had been stabbed and beaten to death, prosecutor Louis Bouthillier said outside the court.

Kane, 40, was bound by the wrists when Justice Fraser Martin asked him what plea he would enter. "For manslaughter? Guilty," Kane replied.

Kane originally pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and was expected to have a date set for a trial.

Bouthillier said the case turned when a government prosecutor and a defense psychiatrist both concluded Kane suffered from depression before the killing. . . .

A woman charged with helping Mike Danton try to arrange a murder for hire was an unknowing "pawn" in the pro hockey player's plans to have his agent killed, her lawyer told jurors in East St. Louis, Ill.

Katie Wolfmeyer, 19, who was dating the former St. Louis Blues player, is charged in federal court with conspiring to arrange a murder for hire and using a telephone across state lines to do so.

"Our evidence will be that Katie was just a pawn," said her lawyer, Art Margulis, in opening statements.

But assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Clark said Wolfmeyer was a willing participant in the plot to kill Danton's agent, David Frost.

"The evidence will show she contributed to a murder-for-hire plot so she could continue an affair . . . with Mike Danton," Clark said.

Danton pleaded guilty in July to trying to hire a hit man for $10,000 to kill Frost at Danton's suburban St. Louis apartment. He faces sentencing Oct. 22. Judge William Stiehl has ruled that Danton does not have to testify against Wolfmeyer.

* PRO BASKETBALL: The Washington Wizards named Eric Waters as trainer and Drew Cleary as strength and conditioning coach.

* FISHING: The Coastal Conservation Association's Northern Virginia Chapter will gather tonight at 6:30 at the Vienna Volunteer Fire House for its sixth annual fall trophy striper seminar.

Three Chesapeake Bay charter captains will discuss fishing techniques. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tom Welch at 703-201-6100.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports