Grand jury indicts O.C. parents who allegedly planted drugs

The Irvine parents accused of conspiring to frame an elementary school parent volunteer for having drugs and get her arrested have been indicted by an Orange County grand jury, prosecutors said Friday.

Kent Wycliffe Easter, 38, and Jill Bjorkholm Easter, 39, each face one felony count of conspiracy to procure false arrest and charging of the volunteer, false imprisonment and conspiracy to falsely report a crime, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Kent Easter's first name as Kyle.

If convicted, each could face a maximum sentence of three years in state prison, prosecutors said. Both are out of custody on $20,000 bail.

Authorities allege that the parents -- both lawyers -- targeted an unnamed woman at the Irvine elementary school where their son was a student. Prosecutors said the couple believed the woman was not properly supervising their son and hatched a scheme against her in retaliation.

Prosecutors said that in the early morning hours of Feb. 16, 2011, Kent Easter drove to the woman's home and placed a bag with Vicodin, Percocet, marijuana and a used marijuana pipe behind the driver's seat of her unlocked vehicle in an easily visible location.

That afternoon, Kent Easter is accused of calling Irvine police using a false name and phone number and telling the dispatcher that he was a concerned parent who had witnessed an erratic driver park at the elementary school. He identified her by name and claimed to have witnessed her hide the sack of drugs behind her driver's seat.

Police responded, questioned the woman and were given permission to search the vehicle. The woman told police that the drugs did not belong to her and didn't know who had placed them in her car.

The woman was detained for nearly two hours as police investigated. Police found that the woman was in a classroom at the time Kent Easter claimed to have seen her hide the drugs. The woman also consented to a search of her home, and authorities found no evidence of drug use or possession, prosecutors said.

Police began investigating the possibility of the drugs being planted in the car. The investigation led to the Easters. Through video surveillance, they found that Kent Easter made the phone call in the business center of a Newport Beach hotel, prosecutors said.

-- Rick Rojas

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