Suspect Arrested in Killing of Jacqueline Avant, Philanthropist and Wife of Music Exec Clarence Avant

Aariel Maynor, 29, has been arrested in connection with the homicide of Jacqueline Avant, 81

Jacqueline Avant, Clarence Avant
Jacqueline and Clarence Avant. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Police in Beverly Hills have made an arrest in the Wednesday killing of Jacqueline Avant, a philanthropist and wife of prominent music executive Clarence Avant.

Aariel Maynor, 29, of Los Angeles, was arrested when police responded to a burglary call, during which Maynor allegedly shot himself in the foot by accident, a Beverly Hills police news release states. The release states Maynor was the suspect in that burglary.

Prior to that, multiple surveillance videos showed Maynor's vehicle leaving Beverly Hills after Avant's killing. According to the police, unspecified evidence connected Maynor to Avant's homicide.

He will be booked into jail when medically cleared by doctors, the release states, adding that there's no further threat to the public.

Maynor has not yet been charged, and it was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.

"To the Beverly Hills Community, let me reassure you, this is one of the most protected and patrolled cities in the world," Chief Mark Stainbrook said in the release. "Crime of any kind will not be tolerated here. Let this be a message to anyone thinking of committing a crime in Beverly Hills — you will be caught and brought to justice."

Avant, 81, a former model, was known for her philanthropic work. She served as president of Neighbors of Watts, which is connected to the non-profit South Central Community Child Care Center. She also served on the board of directors of the International Student Center at UCLA, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Her husband, Clarence Avant, 90, dubbed the Godfather of Black Music, is a renowned record executive and film producer who helped launch the careers of such musical greats as Bill Withers, Michael Jackson and Babyface, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May.

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The couple's daughter, Nicole Avant, who produced a 2019 Netflix documentary about her father called The Black Godfather, is married to Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Crime scene photos of broken window and detectives at the home of Clarence Avant wife's murder
A broken window at the Avant home after Jacqueline Avant's killing. APEX / MEGA

Various celebrities and prominent people reacted to the tragedy, including Magic Johnson, Tyler Perry, Viola Davis and former president Bill Clinton.

The shooting comes as Los Angeles has been beset by a wave of robberies in which victims have been followed home and then robbed.

RHOBH star Dorit Kemsley was robbed during a home invasion at her Encino Hills home in October involving three male intruders.

The Los Angeles Police Department said "the victim was in the residence at the time and was met by the suspects. The victim was in fear and complied with the suspects demands by directing them to valuables. The suspects took handbags, jewelry, and watches with a significant monetary loss and fled the location in a black truck."

In early November, the LAPD put out a safety bulletin warning of an "ongoing crime trend of follow-home robberies. Suspects have been locating victims in Los Angeles, following them, and then committing the robberies as the victim arrives home or at their business."

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