This was before the arrests and the trials and the cameras, before his pedigree became a cudgel with which to flog him, before strangers were writing him letters urging him to kill himself. He was rehearsing a plea for mercy — his closing argument to jurors weighing his financial fate.
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Easter sat alone at the defense table, without his co-defendant and ex-wife, Jill.
When Marcereau chatted with him during court breaks, he found him oddly affable — low-key, disarmingly polite, with a sense of humor — and had to remind himself he was the enemy.
It had featured a dramatic voice-over by Kent Easter: “If you knew how to commit a perfect crime, would you do it?
” “Kelli Peters is cowering in her house, crying with her daughter and her husband, scared out of her mind, worried she is going to be thrown in jail for God knows how long, and Kent and Jill Easter are toasting to the perfect crime,” Marcereau said. The perfect crime.” Kent Easter sat in the hallway during the lunch break, clutching the legal pad on which he had scratched out his closing argument. A policeman had detained her but had not arrested her, handcuffed her, pulled a gun on her, locked her in his squad car or taken her to jail.
He would paint a picture of his almost total ruin and beg them not to make it complete.
To Rob Marcereau, the attorney representing the plaintiff and her family, Kent Easter brought back memories of the William Macy character in “Fargo” — a man flailing to extricate himself from the web of his own doomed criminal scheme, losing more with each entangling lie.
She was now calling herself Ava Everheart, and so he began, “Good afternoon, Ms.
Everheart.” “Good afternoon.” He began by acknowledging the damage he’d done to her name.
She surveyed the courtroom and said, “I think I am the person that went to the best law school in this room, to be honest with you, and I am proud of that. “I am not a school terrorizer, as I have read about myself.” She wanted to dispel a misconception about her self-published crime thriller, “Holding House,” which Marcereau had invoked to illustrate her preoccupation with “the perfect crime.” “The point of the book is these people think they have the perfect crime, and then it gets really messed up,” she said. You can’t think of one in your head because you will always be fooled, and that is the point of the book.” Marcereau did not see much value in a lengthy cross-examination. A UCLA Law grad who was sharing an apartment with his parents.
Doesn’t mean I am spoiled, or a bad person.” But now her reputation was ruined, she complained. She was disbarred, her law degree from Berkeley’s Boalt Hall useless. His savings eviscerated by a quarter-million dollars in legal fees.
When his turn came, Easter told jurors that Peters’ tale of suffering was full of “exaggerations and embellishments.” He said he took responsibility for what happened to her, though he did so only in the vaguest terms.