Thursday, September 01, 2016

Framed: A True Story - Chapter 1


Plaza Vista School was a jewel of Irvine's
 touted public education system.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

She was the PTA mom everyone knew. Who would want to harm her?

Framed: Chapter 1


The cop wanted her car keys. Kelli Peters handed them over. She told herself she had nothing to fear, that all he’d find inside her PT Cruiser was beach sand, dog hair, maybe one of her daughter’s toys.
They were outside Plaza Vista School in Irvine, where she had watched her daughter go from kindergarten to fifth grade, where any minute now the girl would be getting out of class to look for her. Parents had entrusted their own kids to Peters for years; she was the school’s PTA president and the heart of its after-school program.

Now she watched as her ruin seemed to unfold before her. Watched as the cop emerged from her car holding a Ziploc bag of marijuana, 17 grams worth, plus a ceramic pot pipe, plus two smaller EZY Dose Pill Pouch baggies, one with 11 Percocet pills, another with 29 Vicodin. It was enough to send her to jail, and more than enough to destroy her name.
Her legs buckled and she was on her knees, shaking violently and sobbing and insisting the drugs were not hers.

After becoming pregnant, Kelli Peters
valued safety above all. She found it in Irvine.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The cop, a 22-year veteran, had found drugs on many people, in many settings. When caught, they always lied.

Peters had been doing what she always did on a Wednesday afternoon, trying to stay on top of a hundred small emergencies.

She was 49, with short blond hair and a slightly bohemian air. As the volunteer director of the Afterschool Classroom Enrichment program at Plaza Vista, she was a constant presence on campus, whirling down the halls in flip-flops and bright sundresses, a peace-sign pendant hanging from her neck.

Read the rest at the Los Angeles Times.

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