California Attorney Faces New Trial in Drug-Planting Case

PHOTO: Kent Easter looks at the jury during opening statements at his trial in Santa Ana, Calif., Nov. 6, 2013.
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A retrial is underway for a California attorney accused of trying to frame a PTA volunteer by planting drugs in her car, allegedly in retaliation for the way she treated his son.

Kelli Peters broke down in tears in court Thursday after coming face to face with Kent Easter, the man accused of framing her.

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Easter remains free on bail, facing charges of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit. A previous trial ended in November in a deadlock, 11-1, in favor of convicting Easter.

Prosecutors say Easter called 911 Feb. 16, 2011, accusing Peters of being under the influence of drugs. Easter has never denied making that phone call.

After authorities found the drugs in Peters’ car, they detained her for two hours and searched her home, but didn’t find any other drugs, leading investigators to shift their attention to Easter.

Prosecutors say the Easters accused Peters of not properly supervising their son, a student at the elementary school where Peters volunteered.

In opening statements, Easter’s lawyer said it was the man’s wife, Jill, who planted the drugs. “Jill was the operator behind the incident,” the lawyer said.

Jill Easter pleaded guilty last year to false imprisonment and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, a term she completed.

If convicted, Kent Easter faces three years in prison.

The trial continues next week with Peters back on the stand.

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