Man Charged With Murder of Jackie Avant, Wife of Music Exec Clarence Avent

Jackie Avant with her husband, Clarence. Photo: Jesse Grant/WireImage

Update, Monday, December 6 at 6:34 p.m.: The man that police say is responsible for fatally shooting Jackie Avant has been charged with murder. Per a Monday release, the L.A. County District Attorney’s office has charged 29-year-old Aariel Maynor with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder (of a security guard), one count of felon with a firearm, and two counts of residential burglary. TMZ previously reported that Maynor was arrested in a backyard near the Avant home on the same night of the December 1 murder. Reportedly, he accidentally shot himself in the foot while allegedly breaking into another home. According to CBS, police said Maynor had an extensive criminal record and was out on parole.

Original story follows.

Jackie Avant, the wife of famed music executive Clarence Avant, was shot and killed in a robbery at her Beverly Hills home early on December 1. Per TMZ and The Hollywood Reporter, Jackie was shot just before 2:30 a.m., and no suspects were at the scene by the time police arrived. Jackie, who was 81 years old, was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound but did not survive. A home security guard was also shot, TMZ reported. In addition to being married to Clarence for 54 years, Jackie is the mother-in-law of Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who is married to her daughter, Nicole, a former U.S. ambassador. A Netflix spokesperson told the Reporter that Clarence was not injured in the home invasion. The Beverly Hills Police Department is investigating the homicide and will brief press on details later on December 1, it confirmed in a statement (which did not identify Jackie, but matched details from TMZ and the Reporter).

Jackie’s killing comes just weeks after Clarence, 90, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recognized with the Ahmet Ertegun Award for industry professionals during the October 30 ceremony. (Jackie did not appear to attend.) Known as “the godfather of Black music,” Clarence began his career managing R&B and jazz artists before working at Venture Records. He founded Sussex Records in 1969 and notably signed Bill Withers to the label shortly after. He went on to found Los Angeles’ first Black-owned FM radio station, KAGB-FM, in 1973, under his company Avant Garde Broadcasting. Decades later, in 1993, he became the chairman of the board of Motown Records. In 2019, he was the subject of the Netflix documentary The Black Godfather. Clarence married Jackie Gray in 1967, and, along with Nicole, the couple are also parents to son Alexander Avant, 50. Jackie was involved in philanthropy throughout her career, including sitting on the board of directors of the International Student Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Man Charged With Murder of Jackie Avant in Home Robbery