[UPDATED with Possible Victim I.D., Easters' Past:] Kent Wycliffe Easter and Jillianne Bjorkholm Easter, Attorney Couple, Allegedly Planted Drugs on School Volunteer
See end of the post for victim possibly identified in lawsuit Kent Easter filed against her and his wife Jill's legal and crime-thriller background.
ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 19, 2:23 P.M.: Kent and Jill Easter are accused of being very bad eggs.
The husband and wife attorneys face charges today of planting a bag containing Vicodin, Percocet, marijuana and a used pot pipe in the vehicle of a volunteer at their kid's Irvine elementary school.
Why? To allegedly get the parent arrested to teach her a lesson about not properly supervising their boy.
Kent Wycliffe Easter, a 38-year-old listed online as working for Yocca Carlson & Rauth Attorneys of Newport Beach, and his wife Jillianne Bjorkholm Easter, who is also 38 but has let her State Bar of California license expire, could get three years in prison each if convicted of the charges against them.
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The counts are one felony count each of conspiracy to procure the false arrest and charging of Jane Doe [the volunteer], false imprisonment and conspiracy to falsely report a crime, according to a joint statement from Irvine Police and the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).
Jill Easter is accused of becoming angry with the parent volunteer over proper supervision of the couple's son and conspiring with her husband to get the woman arrested as retaliation.
Kent Easter allegedly drove to the volunteer's home around 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 16, 2011, and placing the drug bag behind the driver's seat of her unlocked vehicle. He intentionally left the bundle in plain sight and a conspicuous location, according to the joint statement, which makes it clear this was no early Easter gift.
The couple are accused of being in constant cell phone and text message contact during the plot, which continued around 1:15 that afternoon when Kent Easter allegedly called a non-emergency Irvine Police number, under a false name and number of his own, to report witnessing an erratic driver who then parked at the elementary school and hid a bag of drugs behind the driver's seat. He is accused of identifying the parent volunteer by name, describing her vehicle and firing off her ride's license plate number.
As it was later determined Jill and Kent Easter maintained cell and text contact, cops arrived at the school parking lot, zeroed in on the volunteer's vehicle and saw the bag out in plain sight before finding the woman on campus and asking for consent to search her vehicle. When the woman was shown the bag of drugs, police say, she adamantly denied it belonged to her and claimed not to know how it got into her vehicle.
She was detained at the Irvine Police station for two hours before investigators determined she was inside a classroom at the exact time the "witness" supposedly saw her stowing the drug bag. The woman also gave police consent to search her home, where no evidence was found of drug possession or use.
This changed the case to an investigation into whether the drugs were planted, and Kent and Jill Easter were identified by detectives as people of interest. It was then discovered Kent Easter had made the original call to Irvine Police from a phone in the business center of a Newport Beach hotel near where he worked, according to the statement, which claims the call was recorded via the hotel's video surveillance system.
Kent and Jill Easter were originally held in lieu of $20,000 bail. The OCDA expects them to be arraigned July 17 in Santa Ana.
Kent Wycliffe Easter's booking photo
Booking photos courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's office
UPDATE, JUNE 20, 5:26 P.M.: The identity of the Jane Doe accused of being victimized by an illegal drug plant by Kent and Jill Easter may be revealed in a lawsuit he filed against a volunteer at his son's school.
According to this complaint, Kent Easter sued Kelli Peters in 2010 on behalf of his son, claiming she falsely imprisoned and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the boy in an "intentional and malicious" by locking him out of the school building after a tennis class.
The case was dismissed.
We were able to retrieve Easter's photo in the original version of this post from the website for Yocca Carlson & Rauth Attorneys of Newport Beach, where the 1998 UCLA Law graduate serves as chairman of the firm's Recruiting and Summer Associates program. But, as Above the Law reports, most of his biographical information was wiped clean from the law firm site after news broke of the felony charges he is facing. Google cache finds this much of his former bio.
He may have met his wife at his previous law firm, Wilson Sonsini, where Jillianne Bjorkholm Easter worked after graduating in 1998 from UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As indicated in the original post, she has since let her State Bar license lapse.
Not that she hasn't kept busy. Besides hassling school volunteers (allegedly), Jill Easter has written a crime novel titled Holding House under the name Ava Bjork. Here is the book description on Amazon:
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