Orange County News

Lawyer testifies it was wife who planted drugs in volunteer's car

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An Irvine man accused of planting drugs to incriminate a school volunteer took the witness stand in his own defense on Wednesday.

Kent Easter immediately denied his involvement with a plan to plant drugs in the car of a volunteer at his son's school. When asked why he decided to take the stand, Easter replied, "I have been eagerly awaiting to testify since this whole process started."

Easter alleges it was his now-estranged wife, Jill Easter, who masterminded the plot in February 2011. He says it all started a year prior when the volunteer, Kelli Peters, didn't properly supervise their son at school. He says his wife became obsessed with getting Peters fired.

"While Kent is a very good human being, he didn't have backbone when it came to his wife," said defense attorney Thomas Bienert.

Easter says that's why he placed a phone call to Irvine police about Peters hiding drugs in her car. He testified that his wife called him at work after reportedly witnessing Peters driving wildly and popping pills. He said she insisted that he called police.

Easter admits he called police under a fake name, but denies knowing it was a false report. Even so, prosecutors allege it was Kent Easter who planted the drugs.

A cellphone tower picked up his cellphone near Peters' home the night prior to his call.

"Jill Easter had my client Kent's phone at 2:27 in the morning while he was upstairs in bed feeling sick," said Bienert.

Easter testified his wife's phone was having issues and she took his. At one point during that night, he says he knew his wife was no longer in the house and feared she was out with another man.

He claims in 2008 that he caught his wife cheating and thought she was at it again. He now believes his wife was out planting drugs in Peters' car.

Jill Easter has pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to 120 days in jail. Kent Easter could face up to three years in jail if convicted.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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