A California man pleaded guilty to murder on Thursday (Mar. 3) in the death of Jacqueline Avant, 81, the wife of music legend and industry executive, Clarence Avant.
According to Rolling Stone, Aariel Maynor, 30, admitted during his open plea in a Los Angeles courtroom that he broke into the couple's Trousdale Estates home in Beverly Hills on Dec. 1, 2021 and used an “assault long barrel pistol” to kill Jacqueline and shoot at a security guard.
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 be ineligible for parole, the office of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
“This crime continues to shock the conscience. Mrs. Avant’s death was a tragic loss felt by our entire community,” District Attorney Gascón added. “Our Bureau of Victim Services will continue to be in contact with the family and their representatives to offer trauma-informed services,” PEOPLE notes.
Surveillance cameras on the property and throughout the city captured Maynor fleeing from the scene. He reportedly shot himself in the foot at a different home during another alleged burglary attempt in the Hollywood neighborhood on Dec. 2, the day after the Avant home invasion.
He was later arrested.
Maynor is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Jacqueline Avant has been a prominent Los Angeles philanthropist over the decades, perhaps most notably for her work with the UCLA International Student Center. She is also the mother-in-law of Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos.
In a statement, the Avant and Sarandos families thanked their community for the “outpouring of love, support and condolences” in the wake of the senseless tragedy.
“Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist, and a 55 year resident of Beverly Hills, who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact on the arts community,” the statement said. “She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.”
Clarence Avant, 90, often called the “Godfather of Black Music,” was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 and was the subject of the Netflix documentary The Black Godfather, produced by his daughter, Nicole Avant.