Jacqueline Avant Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty

Aariel Maynor, the man accused in the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant at her home in December, pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of murder.

Maynor, 30, also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Avant’s security guard and to carrying a firearm as a felon. Maynor is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30.

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Avant, 81, was the wife of music industry legend Clarence Avant and the mother of Nicole Avant, a former ambassador and prominent political fundraiser who is married to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos.

The Avants were at their home in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills when Jacqueline was shot after 2 a.m. on Dec. 1. The security guard was unhurt. Jacqueline Avant was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she died.

Maynor was arrested about an hour later after shooting himself in the foot during an alleged burglary in the Hollywood Hills. Police seized an AR-15 rifle, which they alleged was used in both crimes.

Maynor had been released on parole three months earlier, and his criminal record included charges of grand theft, robbery and domestic violence. Maynor made an “open plea,” indicating it was not part of a deal with prosecutors. He faces a potential sentence of as much as 170 years to life in prison.

Avant’s death led to an outpouring of grief from the worlds of politics and entertainment, with figures including Tyler Perry, Reginald Hudlin, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton expressing their condolences.

In a statement, Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook sought to reassure residents that the city “is one of the most protected and patrolled cities in the world.”

“We are pleased to see Maynor will remain behind bars where he belongs,” Stainbrook said. “Our thoughts continue to be with the Avant family.”

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