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One of Lady Gaga’s dog walker’s attackers was sentenced to 21 years in prison

James Howard Jackson, the man who shot Lady Gaga's dog walker and stole two of her French bulldogs in 2021 (US Marshals Service via AP, File)
James Howard Jackson, the man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole two of her French bulldogs in 2021 (US Marshals Service via AP, File)

The man who shot and wounded Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole her French bulldogs last year accepted a plea deal and was sentenced Monday to 21 years in prison.

Authorities said Lady Gaga’s relationship to the case was a coincidence. The reason for the attack was the value of French bulldogs, a breed that can sell for thousands of dollars. Detectives do not believe that the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the artist.

James Howard Jackson, one of the three men and two accomplices who participated in the violent robbery filed a statement of nolo contendere (I’m not going to discuss it) –which, while not a guilty plea, has consequences similar to one of the attempted murder charges, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. It was not immediately clear which attorney was representing Howard.

Jackson and two other people were driving through Hollywood, the city of West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley on February 24, 2021 “looking for French bulldogs,” prosecutors previously said. Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was found with the pop star’s three dogs.

Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward—“no questions asked”—for the return of her dogs.  REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona
Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward—“no questions asked”—for the return of her dogs. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona

Jackson shot Fischer during the robbery near Sunset Boulevard, in which two of the dogs were taken. A camera in a private building recorded the walker yelling “By God! They shot me!”, “Help!” and “I’m bleeding from my chest!”

Fischer later said on social media that the violent incident was “A very close call with death.”

The dogs, named Koji and Gustav, were returned several days later by Jennifer McBride, who was also charged with the theft.

Gaga had offered a reward of $500,000 — “no questions asked” — to get their dogs back.

Jackson also admitted to the charge of causing serious bodily injury from a prior robbery, the prosecutor’s office said Monday without specifying what the prior offense was.

A view of the site where Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and two of her dogs were stolen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
A view of the site where Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot and two of her dogs were stolen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

“The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for committing a cold-blooded violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the office said in a statement. Howard had been charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery, and assault with a semi-automatic weapon.

Jackson was released from prison this year by mistake. He was recaptured almost five months later.

One of his accomplices, Harold White, entered a plea of ​​no contest Monday on a felony gun possession charge. White, who was romantically involved with McBride at the time, will be sentenced next year. The McBride case continues.

The couple had allegedly tried to help White’s son, Jaylin White, avoid arrest after the shooting.

Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley filed no contest pleas earlier this year for the theft.

Lady Gaga leaves Los Angeles with one of her dogs.  Photo © 2015 X17/The Grosby Group
Lady Gaga leaves Los Angeles with one of her dogs. Photo © 2015 X17/The Grosby Group

Whaley drove Jackson and White Jr. in search of expensive dogs. Jackson and White got out of the car and attacked Fischer, prosecutors previously said. They beat and strangled the walker and Jackson pulled out a semi-automatic weapon and shot, wounding Fischer before the trio escaped.

Representatives for Lady Gaga and Fischer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(with information from AP)

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