SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — An Irvine father accused of planting drugs in the car of a PTA volunteer at his son’s school was portrayed as a trusting person who was just trying to please his wife, his attorney said as closing arguments were delivered Monday in his trial.
Attorney Thomas Bienert Jr. said his client, Kent Easter, was pushed around by his wife, Jill Easter, in connection to the framing attempt of Kelli Peters in 2011.
“He didn’t know about it the night before, he wasn’t there, he didn’t participate in the planning. He had no idea that anything was planted in that car,” he said.
Prosecutor Christopher Duff urged jurors to use common sense when deliberating.
He said Kent Easter made the now-infamous phone call to police, tipping them off to marijuana and pills in Peters’ car.
“That was the plan. To get her fired. Have those drugs pulled out in front of that school, in front of those kids, in front of her colleagues. They knew she was going to be detained. They thought she was probably going to be arrested and go to jail,” Duff said.
Although both sides agree that Kent Easter made the call to authorities, they disagree about whether he was involved in the plot itself.
The district attorney said Kent Easter’s DNA is all over the drugs, and cell phone records show his Blackberry was near the victim’s vehicle in the middle of the night.
The defense claims, however, that Jill Easter had her husband’s phone and the blame is squarely on her shoulders.
The prosecutor said Kent Easter is guilty of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit. If convicted, he’s looking at a maximum of three years in jail.
Jill Easter has already pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and will begin serving her sentence of 120 days at the end of December.