Reporting Mike Landa
IRVINE (CBS) — An Orange County husband and wife have been charged with conspiracy after allegedly planting drugs in a car belonging to an elementary school volunteer.
Kent Wycliffe Easter, 38, and Jill Bjorkholm Easter, 38, both of Irvine, were arrested Tuesday. The couple, both attorneys, have been charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to procure the false arrest and charging of the victim, false imprisonment, and conspiracy to falsely report a crime, Irvine police said.
KNX 1070′s Mike Landa reports charges stem from a 2010 grudge between Jill Easter and an unidentified parent volunteer at her son’s elementary school in Irvine.
“Jill Easter is accused of becoming angry with the victim because the defendants believed Jane Doe was not properly supervising their son,” Irvine police spokeswoman Julia Engen said.
According to officials, Jill and Kent Easter conspired to have the woman arrested in February 2011 as 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,” Engen said. “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.”
Kent Easter then allegedly called Irvine police and under a false name and phone number, told a dispatcher that he was a concerned parent who had witnesses an erratic driver park at the elementary school, officials said.
The victim was detained by police after officers identified drugs while looking through the vehicle’s window, according to authorities. The victim denied the narcotics belonged to her.
Detectives later determined that the victim was in a classroom at the time of the bogus call placed by Kent Easter.
“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,” said Engen.
Further investigation prompted detectives to examine if the drugs had been planted in the victim’s car.
“Something wasn’t right and the officers spent a great deal of time investigating and were able to discount the tip as false,” Engen said.
As a result of their investigation, police identified the Easters as suspects.
“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,” Engen said.
If convicted, the Easters face a maximum of three years in prison.
Kent and Jill Easter are expected to be arraigned on July 17. They are each being held on $20,000 bail.