Man Charged With Killing Jacqueline Avant

Man Charged With Killing Jacqueline Avant

LOS ANGELES—A Los Angeles man was charged Dec. 6 with murder and other counts stemming from the shooting of Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music executive Clarence Avant, during a robbery at the couple’s Trousdale Estates home in Beverly Hills.

Aariel Maynor, 29, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Airport Branch courthouse on one count each of murder, attempted murder, and felon in possession of a firearm, along with two counts of residential burglary with a person present, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The criminal complaint also includes an allegation that Maynor used an assault long barrel pistol during the crimes.

Maynor allegedly shot and killed Jacqueline Avant, 81, on Dec. 1 at about 2:25 a.m. inside her home in the 1100 block of Maytor Place.

He is also accused of shooting at a security guard—who was not wounded—during the robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Maynor was arrested after allegedly accidentally shooting himself while breaking into a home in the 6000 block of Graciosa Drive in Hollywood Hills roughly an hour after Avant’s shooting, authorities said.

Los Angeles police responding to that call found Maynor at the scene suffering from a gunshot wound to a foot, apparently self-inflicted accidentally, according to Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook.

The police chief said Los Angeles police contacted Beverly Hills police, and detectives “collected evidence connecting Maynor” to the Avant shooting.

Among the evidence collected was “a suspected weapon” from the crime, described by police as an AR-15 rifle. Stainbrook said Maynor is on parole and has an “extensive” criminal record, which bars him from possessing a weapon.

According to court records, Maynor pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge in July of 2013 and was placed on probation, but later that year, he pleaded no contest to a robbery charge and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also has a grand theft conviction from 2010, according to court records.

“The evidence thus far shows that only one suspect was involved in the crime and the motive remains under investigation,” Stainbrook said.

Video from the Avant home on Wednesday morning showed a shattered sliding-glass door, indicative of a break-in.

“Our focus now has transitioned from finding a suspect to a continuing investigation that will lead to a successful prosecution,” Stainbrook said.

Avant died at a hospital following the shooting. Clarence Avant, 90, was not injured.

Clarence Avant is known as the Godfather of Black Music, and has been regularly celebrated by artists such as Jay-Z and Diddy, L.A. Reid and Babyface. He began as a talent manager in the 1950s, worked at Venture Records in Southern California and founded L.A.-based Sussex Records and Avant Garde Broadcasting.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October.

Jacqueline Avant served as president of the Neighbors of Watts, a support group that focused on child care. She was also on the board of directors of UCLA’s International Student Center.

Following the announcement of an arrest, the Avant and Sarandos families issued a statement saying, “Our deepest gratitude to the city of Beverly Hills, the BHPD and all law enforcement for their diligence on this matter. Now, let justice be served.”

News of the arrest came just hours after a group of civil rights and community leaders called on the county Board of Supervisors to offer a reward for information leading to the capture of the person or people responsible for the fatal shooting of Jacqueline Avant.

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    Man Charged With Killing Jacqueline Avant
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