One day after a career criminal was arrested in the fatal shooting by philanthropist Jacqueline Avant in the lavish home in Beverly Hills, she shared with her husband Clarence, a 90-year-old music producer who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, family issued a statement that read in part, “Now let justice be done.”
But in Los Angeles, where left-wing lawmakers and activists have pushed through a series of progressive reforms that help violent criminals spend less time behind bars, justice is not only fleeting – it is distorted, critics say.
“It’s like – not shown here,” the LAPD said. Jamie McBride, director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a police union. “Bad guys are being released faster than we can finish paperwork, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
The Avants – whose daughter Nicole is a former ambassador to the Bahamas and married to Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, had lived a comfortable life in their sprawling 4,000-square-foot, $ 7 million home in the ritzy Trousdale Estates neighborhood for decades, friends said.
But the elderly couple’s quiet life was changed around 2:23 a.m. Wednesday when police say career criminal Aariel Maynor broke into their home and shot Jacqueline Avant, 81, deadly. Clarence Avant was at home but was not injured.
The couple also hired a security guard who was shot at by the suspect but not hit or injured in any way, according to Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook.
The Avants hired the guard to protect them from another type of LA uninvited guest – fans of the recent Netflix documentary about Avant called “Black Godfather,” who came past the house unsolicited, he said.
Avant’s alleged killer was arrested Thursday in Jacqueline Avant’s murder after being caught in another forged robbery in nearby Hollywood, where he shot himself in the foot.
Maynor, who is currently in custody under armed guard, was in violation of probation at the time of his arrest, and “it did not sound at all like he was reporting to his probation agent,” Stainbrook said. Police say he will be charged Monday.
The 29-year-old was no stranger to the criminal justice system, records show. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2013 for second-degree robbery and causing bodily harm, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
And he recently served a four-year prison sentence for second-degree robbery with improvements for a previous crime and was released on supervised probation on Sept. 1.
“With this guy’s story, with prison presidents, he should definitely still be in jail,” McBride said. “He should have received a longer sentence. For his rap sheets and the violent crimes he has been involved in, he should never have been offered a prayer.
Police still do not know if anything was taken from the Avant house, authorities said. The suspect then drove to a home in Hollywood where a father and his 17-year-old daughter were at home, Stainbrook said.
The suspect allegedly took items from the house before shooting himself in the foot in the backyard, warning someone to call police, Stainbrook added.
Stainbrook, McBride and others say liberal reforms of justice policies, spurred on by groups like Black Lives Matter and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, have made it increasingly difficult for police to carry out their work.
“The criminals know they can do whatever they want,” Stainbrook told The Post. “Then multiply it with all the prisoners who have been released from prison because of coronavirus and no bail and it’s a nightmare and very frustrating from our end of it.”
Many blame the recent nationwide rise in crime, including a wave of looting, on criminal justice reforms, including Proposition 47, a 2014 law aimed at keeping nonviolent criminals out of overcrowded prisons and treating underage criminals with more compassion. The law doubled the amount a suspect could steal to be considered a felony from $ 450 to $ 950.
Activist groups, along with celebrities like Brad Pitt, John Legend and Jay Z, supported the reform, claiming that African Americans were unfairly targeted for years and that the measure would help save the state tens of millions in jail time for petty criminals.
The reform was supported by Newsom, then California’s Lt. Governor, along with LA District Attorney George Gascon, among other Democrats.
“Proposition 47 has empowered criminals because they know that if they are caught stealing, the consequences are minimal,” Mark Powell, a former San Diego Reserve police officer, said in a recent Times of San Diego poll.
McBride said in recent weeks he has caught many suspects entering the prices of stolen items in their phone counters so as not to exceed $ 950 for a one-time robbery.
“You can essentially walk into a store here, pick up up to $ 1,000 in goods, go out, get a ticket and be released,” Stainbrook said. “We arrest the same people over and over again.”
The election last year of 40-year-old top officer Gascon, 67, to the position of LA District Attorney was the icing on the cake, some say. Gascon, like prosecutors, was elected in recent years in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago and Fairfax County, Va. partly supported by billionaire left-winger George Soros.
The Cuban-born Gascon, who moved with his family to the United States in 1967, gave an inauguration speech in December 2020, in which he sounded more like a social justice activist than a law enforcer.
“Our haste to imprison generations of colored children,” he said in his speech, has torn “the social structure of our society apart. The status quo has not made us safe.”
The avant-garde invasion is far from an isolated incident in LA’s rich show-biz enclave.
Last month, BET host Terrence Jenkins was shot near his home in Sherman Oaks. In October, robbers got away with about $ 1 million in jewelry stolen from the home of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” principal Dorit Kemsley.
On Friday, Avant’s neighbor in Trousdale Estates, located at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains, reported other violent incidents in the area.
“Today there was another incident on Bedford Drive,” Vida Ardebilchi said in an interview. “Someone went into the house at seven in the morning and was caught in a room. The SWAT team was called and he saw [the intruder] cut his wrist when he realized he could not get out. He cut his wrists and died in the house. There was another incident where a guy was attacked on the Sunset Strip and was shot in the head for his Rolex watch. ”
Ardebilchi said members of the community now want to build gates to their street and hire more private security.
Trousdale Estates does not have a gateway like some of the newer ultra-affluent gated communities in the area. Police sources told The Post that Maynor would have been able to enter the neighborhood without being stopped by guards.
“It’s disappointing and the government’s fault.” Ardebilchi continued. “We all say it’s awful and nobody’s doing anything about it. I do not feel safe in our neighborhood anymore.”
Friends of Avant, a former Queens model, was shocked by her death in what is considered one of the safest and richest parts of Los Angeles.
Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, a longtime friend of the couple, said in an interview.
“I’ve been tormented by what happened, how it happened, what the meaning of all this is. Jacqui and Clarence had a guard at the gate. I wonder how it could have happened. This is a big mystery. They had no enemies in town. Everyone loved Clarence and Jacqui. “
And criminals love Beverly Hills.
“It’s a bigger goal,” McBride said. “We arrest these villains, but they do not go to jail. If they know it’s a property crime, they expect nothing to happen to them. So why not go for the big bucks in Beverly Hills?” In the last few years, the LAPD had to set up a special unit only for home invasions in the enclave, he said.
“People are being followed home and then they are being robbed,” McBride told The Post. “The only thing missing from LA is Kurt Russell, driving up in an eye patch, like in ‘Escape From New York.’ It all goes back to our liberal policies.”