Man Pleads Guilty to Murdering Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, Wife of Music Exec Clarence Avant

“In this case, the defendant is facing 170 years to life in prison and is ineligible for elderly parole,” L.A. District Attorney George Gascón said in a news release on Thursday

Jacqueline Avant
Photo: Mark Davis/BET/Getty

A man has pleaded guilty to murdering Jacqueline Avant, as well as to attempting to kill the 81-year-old philanthropist's security guard during a robbery at her Beverly Hills home in December, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced on Thursday.

"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 a news release.

"In this case, the defendant is facing 170 years to life in prison and is ineligible for elderly parole," DA Gascón continued. "Our Bureau of Victim Services will continue to be in contact with the family and their representatives to offer trauma-informed services."

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

Aariel Maynor of Los Angeles entered an open plea to one count each of first-degree murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Maynor, 30, also entered an open plea to two counts of first-degree residential burglary with person present, and admitted an allegation that he used an assault long barrel pistol during the crimes.

Maynor is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30 in Department W31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

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On Dec. 2 – the day after Avant was killed – Maynor 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 stated.

The release stated Maynor was the suspect in that burglary, and 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.

Jacqueline is the wife of music executive Clarence Avant, known as the "godfather of Black music."

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Speaking with PEOPLE in February, the couple's daughter, Nicole, opened up about the kind of woman her mom was, saying, "A lot of grit and gratitude and grace — those are the adjectives for Jacquie. The things that you've been reading, I'm sure a lot of it's about her elegance and her grace and her [art] collections and things like that."

"But I think what people are now really understanding is what a natural philanthropist she was," Nicole continued. "She was a philanthropist before it became popular to become a philanthropist and say you were one."

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