Suspect Charged with Murder in Death of Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, Wife of Music Exec Clarence Avant

Aariel Maynor, 29, of Los Angeles, is accused of killing Avant and attempting to kill her security guard while allegedly robbing her home Dec. 1

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

A man has been charged in the murder of Jacqueline Avant, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Aariel Maynor, 29, of Los Angeles, is accused of killing Avant and attempting to kill her security guard while allegedly robbing her home Dec. 1, according to a Monday news release.

Maynor has been charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and felon with a firearm. He is also charged with two counts of residential burglary, per the news release.

aariel maynor
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Maynor allegedly used an assault long barrel pistol during the robbery and shooting, the DA's office stated in the release.

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District Attorney George Gascón called Avant, 81, "a treasured member of our community" in the Monday news release. He added, "Her generosity and good will touched so many lives."

"My office is working closely with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments in the investigation and prosecution of this case," Gascón stated. "We must continue to work together to hold accountable the people who commit violent crimes against our community."

Maynor is accused of killing Avant during a home invasion Dec. 1. Maynor allegedly broke into Avant's home and fatally shot her. PEOPLE previously reported that Avant was taken to the hospital for her gunshot wound early Wednesday morning and later died there.

Maynor was arrested when police responded to a burglary call. He had "allegedly shot himself accidentally while breaking into a house in the Hollywood Hills," according to prosecutors, per the DA's news release.

Maynor was set to be arraigned Monday, the DA's Office stated, but his arraignment was pushed to Tuesday.

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Avant was married to Clarence Avant, the "Godfather of Black Music." She was a former model who was recognized for her work in philanthropy, having worked as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a group connected to the South Central Community Child Care Center, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

She also served as entertainment chairman of the NOW benefit auction and NOW membership, and was a member of the board of directors at UCLA's International Student Center, per THR.

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