Jacqueline Avant

Aariel Maynor, 30, who shot and killed philanthropist Jacqueline Avant in a botched home invasion/robbery on Dec. 1, 2021, was sentenced to 190 years to life in prison this past April 19 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. 

The defendant pleaded guilty last month to shooting the victim in the back with a AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle at the Beverly Hills home she shared with her husband, music mogul Clarence Avant. 

Evidence presented during the trial showed that Maynor initiated the crime by googling the Avants before invading their house at 2:30 a.m. He also fired at an unarmed security guard, missing him before driving away from the exclusive Trousdale Estates community. 

Shortly afterwards, police responded to a 3:30 a.m. call, and apprehended him after he accidentally shot himself in the foot during the commission of another robbery in the Hollywood Hills.

Maynor, who attended the trial in a wheelchair, was portrayed as a career criminal who was on parole at the time of the Avant murder, and showed no remorse afterwards.

Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila presented Los Angeles County jail audio recordings in which he boasted about the killings, and claimed that he would be exempt from the death penalty due to the state moratorium on capital punishment.

Referring to Maynor as a “…serious danger to society,” Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano added additional years for weapons violations to the minimum 150 year sentence.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón summed up the judgment by noting that “…the defendant is facing 170 years to life in prison and is ineligible for elderly parole.”

Avant, 81, sustained a wound to her back as her husband cradled her before she was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where she died.

Known for keeping a low profile compared to his more celebrated contemporaries, Clarence Avant none-the-less became one of the most successful music producers in the recording industry. 

He was a legendary figure through his association with such notables as Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Lalo Schifrin along with singer-songwriter Bill Withers. 

Outside of music, he partnered with PepsiCo to establish a soft drink processing plant in South Africa.

Clarence Avant’s accomplishments were chronicled in a 2019  documentary “The Black Godfather,” on Netflix.

Jacqueline Avant was a philanthropist in her own right whose death was acknowledged with tributes from notables including former President Bill Clinton, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Quincy Jones.

Married for 54 years, the Avants have a daughter, former Ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant, and a son Alexander Du Bois Avant.

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