Mistrial Declared In Case Against Alleged Drug-Planting OC Dad

SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A judge Thursday declared a mistrial in the case involving an Irvine attorney accused of helping his wife frame a PTA volunteer at his son’s school.

Jurors in the trial of Kent Easter were deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction even after Orange County Superior Court Judge Carla M. Singer sent them home Wednesday and gave additional instructions on the difference between felony and misdemeanor charges, officials said.

Judge Declares Mistrial In Case Involving OC Attorney

Easter was accused of planting drugs in the car of PTA volunteer Kelli Peters on Feb. 16, 2011, and later reporting to police she was driving erratically.

Easter testified he was in bed due to complications from a recent surgery at the time the drugs were planted, according to authorities.

His attorney argued his wife, Jill Easter, planted the drugs and goaded him into making the phone call.

She pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment and will serve 120 days in jail starting Dec. 27 and is required to perform 100 hours of community service.

Jury Deadlocked In Framing Case

Jury foreman Gary Capozzoli told KCAL9’s Michele Gile he is “frustrated” jurors were unable to reach a verdict after one female juror insisted she would not be changing her decision.

“She believed that he believed that what his wife was telling him was the truth. We — the 11 other jurors … had serious doubt,” Capozzoli said.

The district attorney is considering whether or not Kent Easter will be tried again.

RELATED STORIES:

Alleged Drug-Planting Dad In OC Was Trying To Please Wife, Lawyer Says

Suspect In PTA Volunteer’s Drug Frame-Up Was Goaded By Wife, Attorney Says

Ex-OC Attorney Gets Jail Time For Role In Planting Drugs In School Aide’s Car

Married Attorneys Plead Not Guilty To Drug Planting Charges

Married OC Lawyers Accused Of Planting Drugs In School Volunteer’s Car

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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