Man pleads guilty to shooting dead Jacqueline Avant, wife of ‘godfather of black music’


A man pleaded guilty to murder Thursday in the death of Jacqueline Avant, the wife of a legendary Los Angeles music executive, officials said.

Aariel Maynor, 30, was charged with killing Avant, 81, and shooting her security guard during a robbery at her Beverly Hills home on December 1, the district attorney’s office said. district of Los Angeles, George Gascón, in a press release.

Maynor pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder, attempted murder and two counts of burglary. He faces a maximum sentence of 170 years in prison and will not be eligible for parole, according to the statement.

The security guard was not injured in the shooting.

Maynor was arrested Dec. 2 after security video captured him leaving the Maynor home shortly after the shooting.

Jacqueline Avant, philanthropist, mother and former model at the Ebony Fashion Fair, married Clarence Avant in 1967.

Clarence Avant is credited with helping launch the careers of notable black musicians, including Bill Withers, and was known as the “godfather of black music”.

When Clarence Avant was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame last year, Lionel Riche remembered him as “the guy who made us understand what the music business was all about”.

In a statement Thursday, Gascón said the murder “continues to shock conscience. Ms. Avant’s death was a tragic loss felt by our entire community.”

A lawyer for Maynor could not immediately be reached. His sentencing is scheduled for March 30.


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