Lady Gaga

Man Admits Shooting Lady Gaga's Dog Walker in Hollywood French Bulldog Heist

James Howard Jackson, one of five people charged in the February 2021 robbery and shooting, was free for months after being mistakenly released from jail.

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The 19-year-old man arrested in the attempted murder and robbery of singer Lady Gaga's friend and dog walker on a Hollywood sidewalk pleaded no contest Monday to an attempted murder charge.

James Howard Jackson, who spent about five months hiding out from detectives after he was mistakenly released from jail while awaiting trial, was rearrested in August and accused of shooting Ryan Fischer in the February 2021 attack.

He was immediately sentenced to 21 years in prison, officials said.

Fischer was critically injured and survived.

Two of the singer's three French bulldogs were stolen in the sidewalk stickup, which the LAPD said involved two other men. Jaylin Keyshawn White, 19, and Lafayette Shon Whaley, 27, were also charged with attempted murder, second-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with the shooting.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office advised that White pleaded no contest Monday morning to being an ex-convict in illegal possession of a gun. His sentencing was set for early 2023.

Jackson was also charged with one count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, while White is also facing one count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Those charges were dropped with the plea entered Monday.

"The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim," the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said in a statement. "The District Attorney’s Office works to hold to account anyone who commits violent acts in our community."

One of three men was mistakenly released but was caught. Eric Leonard reports for the NBC4 News on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.

Gaga offered a half-million-dollar reward for the dogs' return and eventually, a woman showed up at an LAPD station with the dogs and tried to claim the reward. 

The dogs and Gaga were reunited while police continued to investigate, and eventually, detectives said they were able to link the woman who claimed the reward with the others.

She and another man were also charged with participating in the crime. 

At the time of the arrests, LAPD officials said they did not believe the suspects were targeting the victim because of the dogs' owner. 

"Evidence suggests the suspects knew the great value of the breed of dogs" and that "was the motivation for the robbery," police said.

In April, 2022 NBC4's I-Team reported that an apparent clerical or administrative error led to Jackson being released from jail in Downtown L.A. the day after a pretrial hearing.

After that hearing the L.A. County District Attorney's Office said the initial charges filed against Jackson should have been replaced by charges contained in a superseding grand jury indictment.

Jackson disappeared into Downtown and wasn't found until August, when members of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Marshals Service located him at a home on Apricot Drive in Palmdale.

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