Man pleads guilty to fatal shooting of Jacqueline Avant, wife of ‘Godfather of Black Music’

A man pleaded guilty to murder Thursday in the death of Jacqueline Avant, the wife of a legendary Los Angeles music executive, officials said. Aariel Maynor, 30, was accused of killing Avant, 81, and shooting at her security guard during a robbery at her Beverly Hills home on Dec. 1, the office of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.

Maynor pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder, attempted murder and two counts of burglary. He faces a maximum sentence of 170 years in prison and will be ineligible for parole, the statement said.

The security guard was not injured in the shooting. Maynor was arrested Dec. 2 after security video captured him leaving the Maynors’ home shortly after the shooting.

Clarence Avant is credited with helping launch the careers of notable Black musicians, including Bill Withers, and was known as the “Godfather of Black Music.”

When Clarence Avant was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame last year, Lionel Riche recalled him as “the one that brought us to some understanding of what the music business was all about.”

In a statement Thursday, Gascón said the killing “continues to shock the conscience. Mrs. Avant’s death was a tragic loss felt by our entire community.” A lawyer for Maynor could not immediately be reached. His sentencing is scheduled for March 30.

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