The man who shot Lady Gaga's dog walker and stole her French bulldogs is going to be behind bars for a long time.
On Monday, December 5, a Los Angeles County judge sentenced James Howard Jackson to 21 years in prison as part of a plea deal, according to TMZ. The decision comes after Jackson plead guilty to inflicting great bodily injury and no contest to one count of attempted murder in the shooting of Ryan Fischer.
Back in February 2021, Fischer was injured while walking Gaga's three French bulldogs — Koji, Gustavo and Asia — near Sunset Boulevard. Authorities say that Jackson and two other men — Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley — had no idea the dogs belonged to Gaga. Rather, they were driving around several areas of Los Angeles in order to dognap the purebred pets, which can fetch several thousand dollars online.
Jackson is said to be the one who committed the shooting with a semiautomatic firearm, which was reportedly recorded by a nearby doorbell camera. The trio took off with Gustavo and Koji, though an injured Fischer still managed to save Asia. He was later taken to the hospital and was treated for a collapsed lung.
On the heels of the incident, Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for her two missing dogs, who were returned several days later by co-conspirator Jennifer McBride.
Jackson — who was also mistakenly released from prison earlier this year due to a clerical error — was initially charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a robbery, second-degree robbery, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and a felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle. Meanwhile, White and Whaley were each charged with one count of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery. McBride and another man named Harold White were also arrested in connection to the incident on accessory charges.
Thankfully, Fischer has since fully recovered from his physical injuries. However, the career dog walker has said on Instagram that his "very close call with death” took a deep psychological toll on him, writing "whenever I perceive a dog is in danger I go on high alert and then break down and cry after."
He added, "My purpose for the last ten years has suddenly vanished.”
Photo via Getty / Venturelli
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