A 30-year-old parolee pleaded guilty on March 3 to murdering philanthropist Jacqueline Avant and attempting to kill her security guard during a burglary on Dec. 1 at Avant’s home in Trousdale Estates.
The defendant, Aariel Maynor, pleaded guilty to one count each of first-degree murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, as well as two counts of first-degree residential burglary with a person present. He also admitted an allegation that he used an assault weapon during the crime, according to authorities.
“This crime continues to shock the conscience. Mrs. Avant’s death was a tragic loss felt by our entire community,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said. “In this case, the defendant is facing 170 years to life in prison and is ineligible for elderly parole. Our Bureau of Victim Services will continue to be in contact with the family and their representatives to offer trauma-informed services.”
“We are pleased to see Maynor will remain behind bars where he belongs,” Beverly Hills Police Department Chief Mark G. Stainbrook added. “Our thoughts continue to be with the Avant family.”
Authorities said Maynor broke into the residence in the 1100 block of Maytor Place at approximately 2:20 a.m. on Dec. 1 and shot Avant, 81. Her husband, music producer Clarence Avant, was home at the time but was not injured. The suspect also fired a shot at a security guard but missed, and the guard was not injured.
Maynor was arrested on Dec. 1 after he burglarized a residence in the 6000 block of Graciosa Drive in the Hollywood Hills, a little more than hour after shooting Avant. The suspect accidentally shot himself in the foot during the burglary, police said. Los Angeles Police Department officers found Maynor hiding in the resident’s back yard and took him into custody. Police recovered an AR-15-style gun at home on Graciosa Drive that was believed to have been the weapon used in Avant’s murder.
The Beverly Hills Police Department had notified other law enforcement agencies about the homicide and LAPD officers realized Maynor was likely involved in that crime. The suspect was turned over to BHPD investigators, who announced his arrest on Dec. 2. He has remained in custody since.
Maynor is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30 and faces up to 170 years to life in prison.
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