Jacqueline Avant killing: Ex-con pleads guilty to murdering wife of music legend

Officials say an ex-con pleaded guilty Thursday to murder and other counts in the shooting death of Jacqueline Avant at her Trousdale Estates home in Beverly Hills.

Mrs. Avant, 81, was married to Clarence Avant, known as "The Godfather of Black Music."  The 90-year-old legendary music executive was recently inducted into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame last fall. The pair had been married for more than five decades before tragedy struck during the early morning hours of Dec. 1.

"This is one of the most protected and patrolled cities in the world. Crime will not be tolerated here," Beverly Hills Police Chief Stainbrook said days after the deadly shooting.

Aariel Maynor, 30, of Los Angeles, could face up to 170 years to life when he is sentenced. 

RELATED: Jacqueline Avant, wife of music legend Clarence Avant, shot and killed at Beverly Hills estate

He admitted to killing the 81-year-old philanthropist, who was shot at about 2:25 a.m. Dec. 1 inside her home in the 1100 block of Maytor Place. He also admitted shooting at a security guard -- who was not wounded -- during the robbery.

Maynor, who appeared in court in a wheelchair and wearing a suicide- prevention vest, pleaded guilty to one count each of murder, attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of residential burglary with a person present.

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He also admitted allegations of using an assault long barrel pistol during the crimes. He also admitted prior robbery convictions from 2013 and 2018.

RELATED: Jacqueline Avant: LA man charged with murder in shooting death of philanthropist

Judge Kathryn Solorzano noted that Maynor had been paroled in September 2021, just months before Avant's killing.

Maynor was arrested after allegedly accidentally shooting himself while breaking into a home in the Hollywood Hills roughly an hour after Avant's shooting, authorities said.

RELATED: Jacqueline Avant death investigation: Police seek motive behind deadly Beverly Hills shooting

More on Mrs. Jacqueline Avant

Mrs. Avant was a philanthropist and was loved by all who knew her. 

Former President Bill Clinton, iconic music producer Quincy Jones, actress Viola Davis, and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson were just some of the people who expressed their condolences on social media. 

Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry tweeted that "every available resource" would be used to capture her killer.

Hours before police announced a suspect was arrested, community leaders called on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the City of Beverly Hills to offer a reward in the investigation.  

"She was a client of the store for many, many years and happened to be at the store two or three days before the shooting. So it’s very sad; such a pillar in this community," said Thomas Blumenthal, CEO of Geary’s. 

Blumenthal’s store has been around a long time, but now like other businesses finds itself protecting against those out to commit crimes.

"We’re not operating out of fear, but we are being smart about it. We have added security in all of our stores; Security guards during the day and at night. But, just trying to keep as positive as possible," he added.

Maynor's criminal past

State authorities revealed last winter Maynor has a lengthy criminal past. 

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Maynor was sentenced to five years in prison for second-degree robbery in November 2013. He received a one-year sentence for grand theft and was released to parole supervision in Los Angeles in March 2018. He absconded on July 30, 2018, and was back on parole supervision by Aug. 2018.

In November 2018, Maynor was sentenced to serve four years for second-degree robbery with enhancements for a prior felony conviction. He was released on parole supervision on Sept. 1, 2021.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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