Aariel Maynor, who pleaded guilty to murdering Jacqueline Avant, the 81-year-old philanthropist and wife of legendary music executive Clarence Avant, during a burglary attempt at the couple’s Beverly Hills home, was sentenced to life in prison. Maynor, 30, received four consecutive life sentences Tuesday for the murder of Avant, the attempted murder of a security guard, and two counts of residential burglary with people present, reports Courthouse News Service. After he fatally shot Avant last December, Maynor went to another house, where he shot himself in the foot during a second botched burglary. The murder of Avant, for decades a high-profile fundraiser for Black politicians in California and a board member of charitable organizations, was one of several headline-grabbing crimes that rocked the affluent enclave in 2021.
In February, two gang members were sentenced to 10 years in prison for an armed, lunch-time robbery at a posh Beverly Hills restaurant. Mayor is “is a serious danger to society,” said Judge Kathryn Solorzano on Tuesday. She imposed the life sentences on the separate counts under California’s three-strikes law for habitual offenders, citing Maynor’s previous convictions for serious felonies, and stipulated that he’ll have to serve a minimum of 150 years in prison. A letter from Avant’s daughter read in court said the family was shattered by her murder because she had been a vibrant, active and critical supporter for both her family and the community. A prosecutor played recorded phone calls from jail at the hearing in which Maynor can be heard giggling about his crimes. Clarence Avant, 91, known as the Godfather of Black music, has worked with scores of Black artists as manager and record label executive.