Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting Death of Jacqueline Avant and Home Invasion

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A former convict has pleaded guilty to the Beverly Hills home invasion and shooting that took the life of Jacqueline Avant, wife of famed music executive Clarence Avant, CBS Los Angeles reports. Jaqueline Avant, 81, was killed on December 1 after 30-year-old Aariel Maynor broke into the home she shared with her husband.

Maynor pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of robbing a home with a person present, according to CBS Los Angeles. He also admitted that he shot at the Avants' security guard, who was present during the robbery but not injured.

On December 1 at around 2:30 a.m., police responded to reports of shots fired. Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said in a press release following the shooting that a deceased woman, later identified as Jaqueline Avant, was discovered on scene and police were still looking for a suspect.

An hour after later, police were responding to another report of a shooting when they located Maynor. Police also found a similar getaway vehicle caught on camera and an AR-15 rifle, which police believed was used in the killing.

"He was in the house and collecting property and then after that somehow discharged a weapon and apparently shot himself in the foot," LAPD's deputy chief Blake Chow said. "Somewhere in the night, we had an astute watch commander of Hollywood that started to put two and two together and reached out to Beverly Hills, and there were some similarities."

Maynor was arrested on December 3.

Avant was known in California as a philanthropist dedicated to helping low-income neighborhoods, The Associated Press reports. Her husband Clarence, known as the "Godfather of Black Music," has worked with the likes of Louis Armstrong, the SOS Band, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Babyface.

"The Entire Avant and Sarandos families wish to thank everyone for their outpouring of love, support and heartfelt condolences for Jacqueline Avant," the families said in a statement to CBS News following her death. "Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother and philanthropist and a 55 year resident of Beverly Hills who has made an immeasurable positive impact on the arts community. She will be missed by her family, friends and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life."

As a former convict, Maynor now faces up to 170 years in prison, CBS Los Angeles reports. His sentencing is currently scheduled for March 30.

This story was originally published by CBS News on March 3, 2022 at 3:58 p.m. ET. 

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