The State Bar of California has finally, mercifully disbarred Irvine’s most famous, cuckold, drug-planting attorney, Kent Wycliffe Easter.
The 43-year-old was stripped of his license to practice law in the Golden State effective July 23. With no chance for appeal, Easter must now wait five years to reapply for his law license, at which time he must prove to the state bar that he is rehabilitated.
The dishonor stems from Easter’s Sept. 10, 2014, conviction—oh, almost forgot: happy belated anniversary!—on a false imprisonment charge for planting drugs in the car of a PTA volunteer and enlisting the fuzz, based on fraud and deceit, to detain her.
His partner-in-crime—former life partner Jill Easter, who now calls herself Ava Everheart—was herself disbarred in 2014, although she’d let her law license expire before that.
At one time, this was an Irvine attorney power couple. He came from Stanford and UCLA law, she came from Berkeley law and they met at a Palo Alto law firm. After they got hitched and moved south, she became a stay-at-home mom and he joined Yocca Carlson & Rauth Attorneys of Newport Beach.
One day in early 2010, Jill/Ava went to pick up her 6-year-old son from an afterschool program at Plaza Vista School in Irvine. Volunteer mom Kelli Peters would have students waiting in a line as their parents drove up, but the Easters’ child was missing from the lineup that afternoon. When his mother asked where he was, Peters informed the boy was a little “slow,” as in tardy to join his classmates.
Jill/Ava took that as meaning Peters was calling her pride and joy slow as in mentally challenged. That set off the war of the Easters. They began by trying to get Peters “fired” as a volunteer, and when that did not work they tried to smear the mom in the eyes of other school parents. The Easters even sued her, although an Orange County judge tossed the case faster than spoiled milk.
A year after the Plaza Vista incident, in February 2011, a man called Irvine police dispatch to say he saw a woman driving erratically into the school parking lot, that he saw her stash something behind her seat before slinking into the school and that her name was—cue a bad Indian accent—”Kell-lee.” (It was Kent Easter, who went on to identify himself with the name of a neighbor of Indian descent.)
Irvine cops arrived at the school, looked inside the car, saw a Ziploc bag behind the driver’s seat and went into Plaza Vista to fetch Peters. An officer confronted her with the plastic bag filled with 17 grams of marijuana, a ceramic pot pipe and two smaller EZY Dose Pill Pouch baggies, one with 11 Percocet pills another with 29 Vicodin.
Detaining Peters through several minutes of her vehement denials, the cop finally asked if she knew anyone who would be out to get her. Oh yeah, she told him, there’s that nutty couple the Easters who tried to sue her, get her tossed as a PTA volunteer and ruin her name.
From there, the dominoes fell. Police traced the original call to dispatch to a hotel across the street from the Yocca Carlson & Rauth offices where Kent worked. Pings off cell towers indicated one of the Easters’ cell phones had been in the area of the Peters home in the wee hours before Kelli drove her car—unwittingly filled with the ultimate mommy’s little helpers—to the school. And her DNA was not on any of the baggy’s contents, but Kent’s was. Busted!
Arrested together, the Easters were tried separately. The former Mrs. Easter cut a plea deal that had her copping to false imprisonment and getting 120 days in jail and community service. Her ex-hubby’s first trial ended in an 11-1 deadlock in favor of a conviction.
During the second trial, his defense was that his wife boned a local firefighter behind his back and, to win her back, Kent went along with her plan to frame Peters. His fate was left in the hands of jurors, and they voted unanimously that he was guilty.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals shook his head over a rising law career ending in such a bizarre way. (Yocca Carlson & Rauth fired Easter and wiped any reference to him off its website.) Goethals sentenced the defendant to six months in jail—although Easter only served 76 days—and three years of probation.
The Peters sued the Easters on the grounds that Kelli had been publicly humiliated, her husband had suffered panic attacks and their daughter had trouble sleeping, all because of the fucked-up actions of the former Irvine attorney power couple. Jill/Ava testified she planted no drugs. Kent Easter, who had maintained his innocence to any of it during the criminal trial, acted as his own attorney and admitted publicly for the first time that he made the false police report. A jury awarded the Peters $5.7 million of the Easters’ money.
And now comes Kent Easter’s latest setback, courtesy of California state bar case No. 199838: “His disbarment—and, earlier, that of his attorney wife for the same offense—demonstrate that a felony conviction, the fact and circumstances of which involve moral turpitude, can lead to an attorney’s ouster from the profession even where unrelated to the practice of law.”
Irvine’s most famous, cuckold, drug-planting and now-disbarred attorney could not be reached for comment.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.