While California's most widely reported crimes in 2021 were probably the “smash and grab” robberies in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, the audacious robberies weren't the only big crimes to hit our state this year. The 2021 headlines also featured high-profile murder and rape cases, with the death of a beloved philanthropist and a woman left for days in a ditch with a broken leg.
Wife of Music Executive Shot in Her Home
This month, robbers shot and killed Jacqueline Avant, the wife of music executive Clarence Avant and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos's mother-in-law, in a home invasion. In the early hours of December 1, 2021, an unknown robber shot her in her home. Police speculated that the robber may have targeted her and arrested a man on murder and attempted murder charges. The police found the suspect at the scene of another reported shooting, where they believe he accidentally shot himself in the foot.
CNN reported on a statement from the Avant family shared by police chief Mark Stainbrook at a press conference:
Jacqueline was an amazing woman, wife, mother, philanthropist, and a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills, who has made an immeasurable positive contribution and impact on the arts community. She will be missed by her family, friends, and all of the people she has helped throughout her amazing life.
Suspected Serial Rapist Arrested in California
In December of 2021, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office announced the arrest of a serial rape suspect in the Coachella Valley. Authorities charged the man with 14 felony counts, including four attempted murder charges.
Police allege that from September 2020 to August of 2021, the man assaulted six different women in the Coachella Valley area, including strangling three women to unconsciousness. He also allegedly struck two of them with his truck, leaving one of them for dead in a ditch with a broken leg. She remained in the ditch for several days before someone found her.
Police charged the man with forcible rape, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, other sex-related charges, and attempted murder. If convicted, he faces a potential life sentence. When announcing the arrest, Assistant Chief of Police Christopher Shaefer told reporters, “This is a heinous crime and bad acts, but this is a good day.
Hire an Experienced California Criminal Defense Attorney
At Sigal Law Group, our attorneys aggressively defend our clients in federal and state criminal matters. If you're facing criminal charges in the Los Angeles area, we can help. Give us a call at 818-325-0570 for a free consultation.