Mr and Mrs Easter lived in the affluent Orange County area in California. Their son attended the exclusive Plaza Vista School in Irvine.
In February 2010, PTA President, Kelli Peters was supervising an after-school tennis lesson in which Easter Jnr was participating.
When Mrs Easter arrived to pick him up, she found that Easter Jnr was not in his normal spot.
Mrs Easter confronted Peters and the argument escalated after Peters suggested the boy may have been slow to line up after class. Apparently Mrs Easter took this as an insult against her son’s intelligence.
Peters recalls Mrs Easter yelling “I am going to get you”. And so she tried.
Over the course of the next 12 months, Mr and Mrs Easter waged a campaign against Peters. They filed complaints to the school accusing Peters of leaving their son unattended and causing him to have anxiety attacks.
They demanded Peters be terminated from her position as PTA President and, when the school failed to comply with their demands, Mrs Easter accused Ms Peters of stalking the family and trying to kill her.
That wasn’t the end of it though,
In 2011, police responded to a call to the school where after a man, speaking with an Indian accent, had reported seeing drugs in Peters vehicle.
Upon police inspection, a large amount of marijuana and packets of Vicodin and Percocet were discovered. Peters fell to the ground in tears while denying the drugs were hers. Peters was initially questioned in the school parking lot in full view of parents and children leaving the school with the drugs in plain view of spectators.
However; police soon become suspicious after Ms Peter passed a road side sobriety test and after 2 hours of questioning at the local station, Peters was asked if she knew of anyone who had a grudge against her. One name immediately came to Peters’ mind; Jill Easter,
On investigation, CCTV footage showed Mr Easter placing the telephone call to police from a hotel next to his law firm.
Data tracking also evidenced that Mr and Mrs Easter had been in the vicinity of Peters’ car the night before the drugs were planted. Their DNA was also found on the drugs in Peters’ car.
Mrs Easter subsequently pleaded guilty to numerous charges and was sentenced to jail for 120 days. Her licence to practice law has also been permanently revoked.
Mr Easter defended himself at trial and argued that Jill Easter had manipulated him into acting as he did, while she was carrying on an affair with a local fire fighter. Mr Easter argued that every aspect of their married and home life was controlled by Mrs Easter and he was unable to stand up to her.
However, after 90 minutes of deliberation, Mr Easter was also found guilty of various charges and spent 86 days in jail. His licence to practice law was also suspended.
Peters then sued and in awarding Peters approximately $5.7 million in damages, the jury found that the Easters had acted with malice, oppression and fraud in their actions against Peters.
Now divorced, the Easter’s appear to be attempting to move on from this sorry saga; with Jill Easter changing her name to Ava Everheart. However, Peters has told local media that neither of them have ever apologised for their actions.
Nevertheless, it seems an extreme outcome for a simple misunderstanding.
COVID -19 Lease Legislation Summary
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