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Murder in the SunMorgue
by Denis O'Brien, PhD

Who killed hundreds of Syrian children in Ghouta, Aug21|2013? How, and why?

WordPress version


Antinomian Opinion Page

August 30, 2016

Lawyers so stupid their collective brains wouldn't 
fill a midget's thimble

Professional courtesy: why lawyers get sentenced with different guidelines

I would like to tell you about a married couple, both of whom are rat-bag lawyers, but in this context "rat-bag" doesn’t even come close. There are no adjectives or epithets that does this duo justice. 

Alecia and Andrew Schmuhl

As criminal court judges normally do when sentencing lawyers, Randy Bellows, a state court judge in Northern Virginia, threw the sentencing guidelines away when sentencing lawyer Andrew Schmuhl, 33. Except this time it went the other way.

Alecia and Andrew Schmuhl

 WaPo reports that Bellows sentenced the vicious sub-primate Schmuhl to two life terms plus 98 years. The sentencing guidelines called for less than 40 years. There is no parole in Virginia, so he will never see the light of day again. Undoubtedly, the reason Judge Bellows went above the guidelines and declined to give Schmuhl the normal "professional courtesy" of a light sentence is that Schmuhl’s victims were also lawyers, Leo Fisher and Susan Duncan, whose throats Schmuhl slashed in retaliation for Fisher firing Schmuhl’s wife Alecia. Fisher and Duncan survived. Just.

Alecia Schumul is also a lawyer. While her husband spent hours torturing and attempting to kill Fisher and Duncan inside their home, Alecia waited in the driveway in the get-away car. She’s up for trial next month and is surely pooping her panties in view of the sentence her husband got.

But Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl aren’t the married rat-bag lawyers I want to tell you about, they’re just the warm-up act. The ones I’m going after here are Jill and Kent Easter, the famous lying lawyers of Irvine, CA. 

Kent and Jill Easter

You'll likely remember these two from their famous mug-shots. This is one of those weirdo stories that one can never quite forget, like the astronaut-in-diapers wacko, Lisa Nowak.  The Easters are the colon-scum lawyers who tried to frame the president of the local school PTA, Kelli Peters, by planting drugs in her car, but their crime was so inept and mock-worthy that Peters was never even busted -- the Easters were.

Kent and Jill Easter

The Easters are now divorced, Jill has changed her name to  the dramatic "Ava Everheart," the latest of her a.k.a’s: Ava Bjork, Eva Easter, Jillianne Bjorkholm Easter. She was still Jill Easter when her mug shot was taken. The LA Times is currently running an excellent 6-part serial on the Easters’ case, so I’ll let you go there to review the details of the whole sordid crime, should you have an interest.

Basically, the Easters tried to frame Peters by planting the drugs in her car and then placing a 911 call saying she had been driving erratically like she was on drugs. An Irvine cop arrived and field tested Peters – she passed. The cop asked for permission to search her car and she consented – and, of course, the cop found the drugs: pot, a dope-pipe, narcotics. All in baggies. This cop, Charles Shaver, by the way, is the hero in this story. 

Fortunately for Peters, the Easters were superfluously stupid, and of all the stupid people in this world, stupid lawyers are the stupidest. The Irvine cops, to their credit, smelled a frame-up immediately, given that Peters is such an outstanding person and an icon of the community. So they tested the baggies for DNA – they were clean for Peters’ DNA but crawling with the Easters’ DNA. How stupid does stupid get -- they didn't even wear gloves when handling the false "evidence." 

The benefits of judicial professional courtesy

Along with other evidence, the Easters' convictions for false imprisonment were a slam-dunk. But Jill pleaded guilty and got only 120 days; she served only 60. She's now in Cuba. Kent went to trial and got only 180 days; he served less than 90. IOW, they got the very minimum. After all, they’re lawyers. Sounds to me they should have pulled some prison time.  For instance, their DNA was on the drug-baggies and so they themselves must have been in possession of the drugs at one time. Funny that they weren’t busted for drug possession. Funny that they got nothing more than a wrist-slap.

My point here is that unlike Andrew Schmuhl in Virginia whose sentence was waaaay over the guidelines and whose victims were lawyers, the Easters’ victim was not a lawyer, and so, in the eyes of the California judge and prosecutors – also lawyers, of course – that makes the Easters’ crime less worthy of a stiff sentence. That’s the way the justice system works. If you want "justice", you gotta’ be able to buy it or be a part of the system. Sort of like, you can ride for free at Disneyland if you work there.

But there’s a larger point here about people who lie to put other people in prison. Kelli Peters could have drawn a prison sentence for being in possession of the drugs found in her car. That’s obviously what these Easter morons intended. And yet, in spite of all the damage they did do and could have done to Peters, Jill and Kent Easters only did a soft 2 and 3 months, respectively. It seems to me that when a person plants evidence, lies to the cops or to a court, or otherwise tries to deceive the system in an attempt – whether successful or not – to put an innocent person away, that person should automatically be sentenced to the maximum sentence their target could have received. In this case, however many years in prison Peters could have been sentenced to on the bogus drug possession is what the Easters should have served for trying to frame her.

This rule should hold for crooked cops, DAs, judges, expert witnesses and anyone else who intentionally warps the judicial process to put an innocent person away – they should do the max time of the crime they are trying to stick on the innocent person.

Fortunately, a jury has awarded the Peters family $5.7 million in their law suit against the Easters. Because the Easters’ tort was intentional and had a criminal basis, I doubt if they will be able to discharge that debt in bankruptcy although they are trying to screw the Peters out of their judgment by pulling all sorts of legal tricks, such as large alimony and child-support payments and quick-claiming their house to family members.

Update: This WSJ Law Blog article by Jacob Greshman on rampant perjury in American courtrooms provides an insider's view of how bad the problem is.  IMO, the way to remedy perjury is to increase the penalties substantially. The case highlighted is that of Luther Jones who was released from prison this year after his alleged "victim" came forward and admitted that in 1998 her mother told her to falsely testify that Jones molested her. Jones did 18 years in prison on a 10 year old's lie. ABC  The mother should do at least that long. 

 -- Denis R. O'Brien, PhD/Esq.
denis [at-sign] thepatentguy [full stop] net


Copyright, Denis O'Brien, 2005-2016 ~ ~ All rights reserved.