US NEWS Jacqueline Avant's killer sentenced to life in prison

Jacqueline Avant’s killer sentenced to life in prison

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The man who pleaded guilty to killing prominent Southern California philanthropist Jacqueline Avant was sentenced Tuesday to 150 years to life behind bars.

In March, Aariel Maynor, 29, pleaded guilty to the Dec. 1 killing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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Avant, the 81-year-old wife of music kingmaker Clarence Avant, was gunned down in her Beverly Hills home during a robbery attempt around 2:30 am on Dec. one.

Aariel Maynor was sentenced to life in prison. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/TNS)

Investigators quickly tied Maynor to the crime. He was found that same morning suffering from a gunshot wound at a different home in the Hollywood Hills, having accidentally shot himself in the foot trying to commit another robbery. Maynor was formally charged with murder five days later.

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In March, Maynor pleaded guilty to all the charges he was facing: murder for killing Avant, attempted murder for shooting at a private security guard, possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of burglary.

Jacqueline Avant, left, and Clarence Avant appear at the 11th Annual AAFCA Awards in Los Angeles on Jan.  22, 2020.
Jacqueline Avant, left, and Clarence Avant appear at the 11th Annual AAFCA Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 22, 2020. (Mark Von Holden/Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)

At his sentencing hearing, prosecutors played a jailhouse recording of a Maynor phone call in which he laughed off the crime and expected to only get a 25-year sentence, according to KABC.

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Maynor was sentenced to 150 years to life because of California’s three strikes law for violent offenders, the LA Times reported. He had been convicted of violent robberies in 2013 and 2018 as well.

“This is a de facto sentence that will result in Maynor spending the rest of his life in prison,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told the paper.

Jacqueline Avant’s death shocked celebrities nationwide and led to an outpouring of support from Bill Clinton, Magic Johnson and many others.

“Cookie and I are absolutely devastated at the loss of one of our closest friends, Jackie Avant,” Johnson said. “This is the saddest day in our lives.”

Clarence Avant is one of the most influential people in music, a man who kickstarted the careers of iconic Black musicians like Bill Withers, Antonio “LA” Reid, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Sean “Diddy” Combs. He was the subject of a Netflix documentary, “The Black Godfather,” released in 2019.



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