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Jacqueline Avant Slaying: Killer ‘Laughed’ After Shooting the Philanthropist, Court Documents Say

The 81-year-old wife of former music executive Clarence Avant was killed during a break-in at their Beverly Hills home

The man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting philanthropist Jacqueline Avant said he expected to make $50,000 from the December burglary of her Beverly Hills home, and later “laughed” about taking her life, according to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

In a story published Monday night, the Times detailed court records and transcripts from jailhouse phone calls that Aariel Maynor made following his arrest.

The documents say Maynor called a female friend and said he was enjoying the publicity surrounding the Dec. 1 killing of Avant, who was the wife of former Motown boss Clarence Avant. Maynor also shot at her security guard, who was not injured.

At one point in the call, Maynor reportedly bragged about being “all over the news,” and asked, “You think my mama’s seen that, though?”

Maynor, 30, broke into the Avant family home on Dec. 1. He was taken into custody in the Hollywood Hills about an hour later after shooting himself while burglarizing a second home. An AR-15 style weapon was recovered from the second location.

Prosecutors say Maynor “shot Jacqueline Avant in the back.”

The court documents say Maynor recalled in one of his jailhouse calls that he went to the second location hoping to score after the burglary at the Avant house failed.

Maynor had a lengthy criminal history before his Dec. 1 crime spree, and had been granted parole from a California state prison just three months earlier.

He was charged on Dec. 6 with first-degree murder and other counts in Avant’s death. He initially pleaded not guilty, but on March 3 changed his plea to 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.

Jacqueline Avant was involved with several charitable causes and considered a pillar in her local community. Her daughter, Nicole Avant, served as U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas during President Barack Obama’s administration. Nicole is the wife of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and co-produced a 2019 Netflix documentary about her father’s life titled “The Black Godfather.”

In a March news release, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said Maynor would spend the rest of his life in prison for Avant’s death. “This crime continues to shock the conscience. Mrs. Avant’s death was a tragic loss felt by our entire community,” Gascón said. “In this case, the defendant is facing 170 years to life in prison and is ineligible for elderly parole.

Maynor is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday morning at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

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