The suspect who reportedly shot and killed Jacqueline Avant has been arrested. Avant, 81, was the wife of music legend Clarence Avant. Mr. Avant was not injured in the attack.
In early December, authorities arrested a 30-year-old Los Angeles resident as the primary suspect in the fatal home invasion. Reports reveal that the suspect, Aariel Maynor, was on parole and had an “extensive” criminal record.
He was arrested as police were responding to reports of a second burglary that took place in Hollywood Hills.
What Happened to Jacqueline Avant?
On Wednesday, December 1, police officers responded to reports of a shooting around 2:23 a.m. in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood.
When authorities arrived on the scene, they found Jacqueline Avant in her home, suffering from a gunshot wound. She was rushed to a local hospital, but, unfortunately, passed away due to her injuries. Reports say that a security guard was also stationed at the home during the shooting. Maynor admitted to shooting at a security guard, but he was not struck by any bullets and was not injured in the home invasion.
Roughly one hour after the first call came in, authorities received another call concerning a shooting at a home located in Hollywood Hills. When police arrived on the second scene, they found Maynor with a gunshot wound in his foot. Authorities believe that he accidentally shot himself in the foot while he was attempting the home invasion. An AR-15 rifle was recovered at the scene.
Police are still trying to determine a motive at this time. Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said during a news briefing that “the motives, in this case, are still unknown, and we’re investigating all possible motives. And we will not speculate on anything that’s out there, including if this was a robbery attempt or not.”
He added that the city is “one of the most protected and patrolled in cities in the world.”
“Crimes of any kind will not be tolerated here,” he continued. “Let this be a message to anyone about thinking of committing a crime in Beverly Hills. You will be caught and brought to justice.”
Jacqueline Avant Shooting Suspect Pleads Guilty At Thursday’s Hearing
On Thursday, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that Aariel Maynor of Los Angeles pleaded guilty to murdering Jacqueline Avant and attempting to kill her security guard during a robbery at her Beverly Hills home on December 1. He can face up to 170 years to life in prison when he is sentenced later this month, on March 30, in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“This crime continues to shock the conscience. Mrs. Avant’s death was a tragic loss felt by our entire community,” District Attorney Gascón said. “In this case, the defendant is facing 170 years to life in prison and is ineligible for elderly parole. Our Bureau of Victim Services will continue to be in contact with the family and their representatives to offer trauma-informed services.”
Aariel Maynor, born February 1, 1992, entered an open plea to one count each of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon, as well as two counts of first-degree residential burglary with a person present. He also admitted to an allegation that he had used an assault long barrel pistol during the crime.
Jacqueline Avant Was Well-Known To The Community For Her Philanthropic Efforts
As reported by NBC Los Angeles, Jacqueline Avant had served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group that focused on child care, up until the time of her passing. She was also on the board of directors of UCLA’s International Student Center. In addition, she served as a member of the board for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
Her husband, Clarence Avant, is known as the Godfather of Black Music. Avant first began his music career as a talent manager in the 1950s. He worked at Venture Records in Southern California before he founded the L.A.-based Sussex Records and Avant-Garde Broadcasting.
The couple had two grown children: Nicole and Alexander. Their daughter, Nicole Avant, is a film producer who served as U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas during then-President Barack Obama’s administration. She is also the wife of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos. She also co-produced the Netflix film “The Black Godfather,” which chronicled her father’s life and career in the entertainment industry