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article imageCalifornia parents accused of planting drugs on school volunteer

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 22, 2012 in Crime
Irvine - The couple were arrested Tuesday after it was alleged they planted drugs in the vehicle of a school volunteer at their son's elementary school.
Kelli Peters, the volunteer who later went on to become the president of the PTA at Plaza Vista School in Irvine, California, was the subject of complaints by the parents about the way she supervised their son at the elementary school. The couple had a history with the woman going back at least two years.
KTLA reports that on Feb. 16, 2011, the father went to Peters' home and put some prescription drugs and a bag of marijuana in Peters' unlocked vehicle. It is alleged he later went to a hotel and telephoned police from a public phone. He reported he saw Peters driving to the school in an erratic manner and he had seen her place drugs in her car. Police went to the school and found the drugs in the vehicle.
Peters was detained for about two hours before officers established she was in a classroom at the time the caller said she was driving. She consented to searches of her home and vehicle.
Julie Engen, a spokesperson for the Irvine police, told the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, "Something wasn't right and officers spent a great deal of time investigating and were able to discover the tip was false."
Kent Easter and Jill Easter, both 38-year-old attorneys, face charges of conspiracy to procure false arrest, false imprisonment, and conspiracy to falsely report a crime.
The evidence against the couple includes text messages exchanged between the two around the times the drugs were placed in the car and video surveillance tapes showing Kent Easter at the hotel making the phone call to the police.
The Los Angeles Times reports Kent Easter launched a civil complaint against Peters in March 2010 alleging that she left his son, then a Grade 1 student, outside the school for 19 minutes while he was enrolled in an after-school tennis program. Around the same time, Jill Easter applied for a restraining order against Peters. Jill alleged Peters was "harassing and stalking" her and her son and claimed Peters also threatened to kill her. The mother also claimed Peters told people Jill Easter was "psychotic" and "unstable."
The civil case was dismissed and the request for a restraining order was denied.
ABC News reports Jill Easter wrote a book, Holding House, under the pen name of Ava Bjork. Promotional material for the novel asks the question, "If you knew how to commit the perfect crime, would you do it?"
If the couple is convicted, they face up to three years in state prison. The Easters are both free on $20,000 bail and are due to appear for arraignment in Orange County Superior Court next month.
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