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Man Gets 190 Years In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Philanthropist Jacqueline Avant's Murder

The man who pleaded guilty to the murder of Los Angeles philanthropist Jacqueline Avant laughed about her murder and bragged about the media coverage in recorded telephone conversations.

By Constance Johnson
Jacqueline Clarence Avant G

The man who pleaded guilty to the murder of Los Angeles philanthropist Jacqueline Avant was sentenced to 190 years in prison on Tuesday.

Aariel Maynor, 30, was also sentenced for firing at least four shots at a security guard as he fled the Avant’s Beverly Hills home during the robbery on December 1.

Judge Kathryn Solorzano said that Maynor planned the burglary looking up home ownership records for Avant’s husband, the legendary music executive, Clarence Avant, 90, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“He shot her in the back, indicating she was not a threat to him,” Solorzano said.

The judge sentenced Maynor 150 years to life for the murder and 40 years for his other crimes, which included attempted murder, firearm possession and residential burglary. He is not eligible for parole.

Maynor was on parole at the time of the murder. 

The sentence was so long because of California’s three-strikes law for repeat offenders. 

Clarence Avant, dubbed “The Godfather of Black Music,” was also at home during the burglary and police found him cradling his wife’s head after the shooting, according to the New York Times. They were married for more than 50 years. 

Police said Maynor was arrested about an hour after Avant’s murder while burglarizing another home. He called 911 for help after accidentally shooting himself in the foot, police said. 

Maynor’s telephone calls were recorded while he was in custody at the Los Angeles County Jail. Before the sentencing Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila played a telephone call he had with an unidentified friend. Maynor laughed about the murder and bragged about the media coverage, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“That’s not funny. That somebody’s life,” the woman said. 

Maynor said in the recording that he “was all over the news” and asked, “You think my mama’s seen that, though?” 

He told the woman that he planned to take $50,000 from the Avant’s home. 

Maynor told another individual during a recorded conversation that he expected to receive a sentence of 20 to 25 years, according to the New York Times.  

The prosecutor read a letter from Avant’s daughter, Nicole Avant, before the sentencing, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“The only word to describe the state of our family is shattered,” she wrote. “We are asking that the defendant spend the rest of his life in prison.” 

Nicole Avant served as an ambassador to the Bahamas during the Obama administration. She is married to Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix.

“Today marks the end of a tragic case that rocked our community. Because of a completely senseless act, Los Angeles lost Jacqueline Avant, a community leader and philanthropist. Her murder sent shockwaves through our community, prompting fear, concern, and a tremendous sense of loss,” District Attorney Gascón said in a statement. “Given the sentence today, Mr. Maynor will be ineligible for early parole, and will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

He added: “This sentence and conclusion of this case also prevents a painful and lengthy process of trial for the Avant family, a process that can be traumatizing. There was never any doubt that we were going to pursue this case rigorously, this case shocks us all.”

Maynor has a lengthy criminal record, which started at the age of 12. He was convicted of grand theft in 2010 and pleaded no contest to domestic violence in 2013. That same year, he was sentenced to five years in prison for robbery.

“Ultimately this is a failure of the foster care system and the courts,” Maynor’s public defender, Marcus M. Huntley told Oxygen.com.  “When the systems failed the most vulnerable youth the most horrific things occur. That doesn’t take away from the grief the Avant family is suffering. … We lost the pillar of our community.”

He said that Maynor’s mother was on drugs when she had him and that he was placed in the foster care system at four days old, and he didn’t find love and support with his foster care family. He eventually joined a gang.

“He became hooked on drugs while in prison and there was no real rehabilitation … all that leads to this tragic incident. … We have to reach back and save the kids who are most vulnerable … until we do that, we will see these tragedies happening over and over again.”

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