11:52 AM PT -- 4/19 -- We've obtained the Avant families letter to the judge that was read by the deputy district attorney during the sentencing, and it's gut-wrenching.
There are no words to describe the nightmare we have endured because of the cruel and vicious acts of the defendant. As I write this letter, painfully reflecting on the shocking horror of that night and the emotional and psychological aftermath that has followed, there is only one word that describes the state of our family: SHATTERED. We are shattered. Jacqueline Avant, our beloved mother and wife, was very much alive and she loved her life. She was vibrant, she was active, and she was a critical support beam for her family, her many friends, and the communities she served. My mother devoted every cell in her body to helping others, spending over thirty years as an organizer, activist, and advocate for the people, and more specifically, the children of Watts. To have her life brutally taken from us and the countless people who depended on her support, love, and generosity is devastating and we will suffer from not only her loss, but also how it occurred, for the rest of our lives. Nobody who lived the way she did should have had to die the way she died. Second to her faith, my mother’s greatest belief was in the possibility of a safe and just world, and this is why we ask that the defendant spend the rest of his natural life in prison, without the possibility of parole. We will never get my mother back, but we feel it is our duty to act in her footsteps and work to protect the people in our communities. The trauma we are living through is immeasurable, we have no idea what healing from this violent loss looks like or if it is even possible, but we hold on to the hope that this individual will never have the chance to do this to another family.
Nicole Avant and The Avant-Sarandos Family
Jacqueline Avant's murderer has just learned his fate after pleading guilty to the crime -- and he'll be doing some hard time for a good long while.
Aariel Maynor -- who was arrested and subsequently convicted of murdering Mrs. Avant after entering his plea in March -- was sentenced Tuesday in L.A. County ... and the judge threw the book at him, sending him to prison for the rest of his life.
As we reported ... Maynor copped to breaking into Jacqueline and her husband Clarence's Beverly Hills home in December -- and then opened fire with an "assault long barrel pistol" when he came upon Jacqueline, who wasn't with Clarence at the time. Maynor then fled the scene.
Jacqueline was taken to a hospital, but succumbed to her injuries and died.
Photos of the crime surfaced shortly thereafter, and it looks like Maynor broke through a sliding glass door on a side of the property ... leaving behind a ton of shattered glass.
Prosecutors pushed for a lengthy sentence, telling the judge Maynor bragged and joked with his friends about the situation from a jail phone. According to court docs, he also said he expected to serve a max of 25 years because the prosecutors did not file a so-called "special circumstances" murder charge.
Jacqueline was deeply involved in her community, serving as the President of the Neighborhood of Watts, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of UCLA's International Student Center. She was 81.
Clarence, of course, is known as the Godfather of Black music -- having had a hand in a number of classic records and albums throughout the years ... with the likes ofJay-Z, Diddy, L.A. Reid and others singing his praises for his influence in the culture.