What do you do when you’re unhappy with the performance with someone at your kid’s school? Most parents would take it up with the principal or maybe schedule a conference. Not Southern California couple Kent and Jill Easter. When they had an interaction with the school’s PTA president that they weren’t happy about, they decided to plant drugs in her car — among other things.
Yes, this really happened. And now they’ve been ordered to pay $5.7M to Kelli Peters for this incredibly strange string of events.
In 2010, Jill Easter got upset when her son wasn’t waiting in front of the school at pick-up time. Peters testified that she said the 7-year-old may have been “slow to line up.” Easter got offended at the statement, thinking it was a jab at her son’s intelligence. Peters insisted repeatedly she just meant he was tardy to line up with the other kids. This simple misunderstanding led to a yearlong campaign to get Peters fired. From OC Weekly:
“They complained that Peters had their son locked in the school and demanded she be fired from her volunteer position.
School officials determined Peters did nothing wrong.
Jill Easter then stood in front of the school handing out fliers to parents demanding Peters’ dismissal for all sorts of misdeeds.
That did not work.
The couple filed a police report against Peters.
That went nowhere.
They sought a restraining order against Peters for allegedly stalking their son.
They tried to sue Peters.
As that was going nowhere, it was dropped.”
So the couple (both lawyers, by the way) decided the best way to handle the situation would be to plant drugs in Peters’ car and call the police. They filled a bag with marijuana, Vicoden, and Percocet and planted it behind the driver’s seat of her car. Then they called the police claiming they saw her “driving erratically” to school and that they thought she might have drugs in her car. This setup led to Peters being detained for questioning for over two hours with her daughter seeing the whole thing.
“I was crying and begging for him to not put the [discovered] drugs on the car, because people would see it,” Peters reportedly said during her trial. “Everybody was looking at me and I felt very humiliated.” She was never charged with any crime.
Kent Easter ultimately admitted to planting the drugs in her car and was sentenced to 87 days in jail while Jill Easter got 60 days. Last week, the civil suit Peters filed was finally decided — the now divorced couple will pay $5.7M in damages.
“I’ve already paid dearly,” Easter said. “I’ve lost my law license and career … and the law says you have to take that into account. … I’m not able to pay punitive damages. I’m a 41-year-old still living with my parents now. … I’ve lost everything I’ve ever had but my family and I don’t see the point of being punished further, but that’s up to your judgment.”
The judgment was… pay up, dude. You should’ve thought about all of that before you decided to try to ruin a woman’s life. The kicker – Peters was volunteering at the school.
Moral of the story: nothing good can come from volunteering at your kid’s school. Kidding! (Sort of.)