• Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023


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Jacqueline Avant’s Killer Is Sentenced to 190 Years in Prison

A man who fatally shot Jacqueline Avant, a philanthropist and the wife of the music producer Clarence Avant, during a burglary at their home in Beverly Hills, Calif., in December was sentenced on Tuesday to 190 years in prison, the authorities said.

The man, Aariel Maynor, 30, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court last month to first-degree murder, attempted murder, firearm possession and residential burglary for killing Ms. Avant, 81, and trying to kill her security guard, according to a sentencing memorandum.

Mr. Maynor broke into the Avants’ home in Beverly Hills early on Dec. 1 and shot Ms. Avant in the back, according to the memorandum. She had been at home with her husband, whom police officers found cradling her head on the floor after she was shot. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

About an hour after he killed Ms. Avant, Mr. Maynor was arrested while burglarizing a home in Hollywood after he accidentally shot himself in the foot, the Beverly Hills Police Department said at the time.

Under the sentence imposed by Judge Kathryn Solorzano, Mr. Maynor, who was on parole at the time of the murder, will not be eligible for parole, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

Marcus M. Huntley, Mr. Maynor’s public defender, declined to comment on Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement on Tuesday, George Gascón, the Los Angeles district attorney, said that Mr. Maynor’s guilty plea had helped the Avant family avoid a “traumatizing” trial process.

“Today marks the end of a tragic case that rocked our community,” he said. “Because of a completely senseless act, Los Angeles lost Jacqueline Avant, a community leader and philanthropist.”

After the murder, a number of prominent artists, athletes and politicians expressed condolences, including former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore and the former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson.

Ms. Avant, a onetime model and elementary school tutor, was a former president of Neighbors of Watts, an organization that hosted star-studded benefits to raise money for child care and other needs.

Her husband is a well-known music executive who started Sussex Records in 1969. He signed Bill Withers and released some of his most famous songs, including “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me.”

Mr. Avant was the subject of a 2019 Netflix documentary, “The Black Godfather,” which featured interviews from Mr. Clinton, former President Barack Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris, who was then a presidential candidate.