Irvine mom accused in drug scheme wrote crime novel
A 38-year-old Irvine woman accused of hatching a plot with her husband to plant drugs on a volunteer at their son's school is also the author of a novel in which the protagonist seeks to "commit the perfect crime," The Times has learned.
Jill Easter's first book -- written under the name Ava Bjork, an apparent play on Easter's middle name, Bjorkholm -- outlines the story of a rising mixed-martial-arts star who takes part in an international kidnapping to cover his gambling debts. Titled "Holding House," the novel was published in April 2011 with a copyright belonging to Jill Easter.
Easter, who received both her undergraduate and law degrees from UC Berkeley, now works as a "full-time author," according to her website, which contains her picture and a brief biography.
"If you knew how to commit the perfect crime, would you do it?” a YouTube trailer for the book asks.
"The crime is shockingly simple and 100% possible," it continues. "No one will get hurt and there's no way they can get caught."
Eventually, however, the characters get caught in an international manhunt when "unforeseen events cause their dream crime to unravel into a nightmare."
Easter and her husband, Kent Easter, also 38 and also an attorney, were arrested Tuesday after authorities said the couple devised a plan to frame Kelli Peters, a well-known Plaza Vista School volunteer who is now the school's PTA president, after what the Easters alleged was her ill treatment of their young son at school.
Kent Easter is accused of putting drugs into Peters' unlocked car on Feb. 16 and falsely reporting to police that he saw Peters drive erratically to the school and stash the drugs in the back seat. Investigators determined that the drugs didn't belong to Peters, and traced the call and the drugs to Kent Easter, authorities said.
The alleged drug plot was not the Easters' first encounter with Peters.
In March 2010, Kent Easter filed a civil complaint in Orange County Superior Court alleging that his son, then a first-grader, had been in an after-school tennis class the month before when Peters locked the child out of the school for about 19 minutes.
The civil case was dismissed.
Around the same time, Jill Easter filed a request for a restraining order against Peters, alleging that the school volunteer was "harassing and stalking" her and her son, and that she had "threatened to kill me."
"She will stop at nothing in her attempts to silence myself and my son," Jill Easter alleged. Easter also complained that Peters had been telling parents at her son's school that Easter was "psychotic" and "unstable."
The request for the restraining order was denied.
Calls to Kent Easter's law office were not returned. The couple, who face felony charges of conspiracy to procure false arrest, false imprisonment and conspiracy to falsely report a crime, have not entered a plea in court.
-- Kate Mather, Nicole Santa Cruz and Christopher Goffard
Photo: Jill Easter, one of the parents charged with planting drugs in the car of a school volunteer. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office