Wednesday, October 30, 2013

½ of Irvine Attorneys Duo pleaded guilty to having school parent volunteer arrested and imprisoned by planting drugs

Posted By CtoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita,  CA - Jill Bjorkholm Easter,  peaded guilty today to one felony count of false imprisonment by violence or deceit. She was sentenced to one year in jail and three years of formal probation.

Jill Easter's co-defendant and husband Kent Wycliff Easter, 40, Irvine, is charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to falsely charge a crime, false imprisonment by violence or deceit, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Opening statements in the jury trial are anticipated to begin sometime next week.

The duo, both attorneys from Irvine, were  indicted Oct. 25, 2012,  by the Orange County Grand Jury for conspiring to have an elementary school parent volunteer arrested and imprisoned by planting drugs in her car.

On June 19, 2012, the Orange County District Attorney’s office released a press release with the following information on this case:

In 2010, Jane Doe was a parent volunteer at an elementary school in Irvine, where Jill and Kent Easter’s son was a student. Jill Easter is accused of becoming angry with the victim because the defendants believed Jane Doe was not properly supervising their son.

In February 2011, Jill and Kent Easter are accused of conspiring to have victim Jane Doe arrested in retaliation.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 16, 2011, Kent Easter is accused of driving to the home of Jane Doe and placing a bag of Vicodin, Percocet, marijuana, and a used marijuana pipe behind the driver’s seat of her unlocked vehicle. He is accused of intentionally leaving the drugs in plain sight in a conspicuous location, where it would be easily visible from outside the vehicle. Jill and Kent Easter are accused of being in constant cell phone and text message contact as Kent Easter drove to and from the victim’s home.

At approximately 1:15 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2011, Kent Easter is accused of calling the IPD non-emergency number and giving a false name and phone number. He is accused of telling the dispatcher that he was a concerned parent who had witnessed an erratic driver park at the elementary school. He is accused of claiming to have witnessed Jane Doe, whom he identified by name, hide a bag of drugs behind her driver’s seat in her car. He is also accused of providing a description of and license plate number to Jane Doe’s vehicle. Jill and Kent Easter are accused of calling and texting each other on the cell phone immediately before and after the call to IPD was placed.

IPD officers arrived at the school parking lot and identified the vehicle described by Kent Easter. Officers immediately observed the bag of marijuana upon looking through Jane Doe’s car window. The responding police officer contacted Jane Doe on the school campus and the victim consented to a search of her vehicle. The victim adamantly told the officer that the drugs did not belong to her and she did not know how they ended up in her car.

Jane Doe was detained for approximately two hours as IPD investigated the case. It was determined that the victim was in a classroom at the time Kent Easter claimed to have seen her hide drugs in her car. Jane Doe consented to a search of her home, which showed no evidence to support drug use or possession and did not support a link to show that Jane Doe was knowingly in possession of the marijuana or prescription pills found in her vehicle.

Based on their investigation, IPD officers began investigating whether the evidence had been planted in Jane Doe’s car. Subsequent investigation by IPD led detectives to identify Kent and Jill Easter. Kent Easter is accused of making the Feb. 16, 2011, phone call to IPD from a phone in the business center of a Newport Beach hotel near where he worked. He is accused of being recorded on hotel video surveillance. 

Kent Easter has been an active member of the State Bar of California (Bar) since 1998. Jill Easter was also admitted to the Bar in 1998, but her license has since expired.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Duff of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

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