The man who shot and wounded pop star Lady Gaga’s dog walker and then stole her French bulldogs last year was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Monday after taking a plea deal.
James Howard Jackson admitted to the allegation of inflicting great bodily injury and pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said, according to a report by KSDK.
“The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the office said in a statement.
Authorities said that Jackson and two other accomplices were involved in the violent robbery, and that the thieves did not know the dogs belonged to Lady Gaga. The motive for stealing the bulldogs was due to the value of the breed, which can cost thousands of dollars.
During the trial, prosecutors said Jackson and two others drove around Hollywood on February 24, 2021 “looking for French bulldogs,” and that’s when they saw the singer’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, with her three pets.
Jackson then shot Fischer near Sunset Boulevard, and made off with two of the three dogs. A nearby doorbell camera recorded Lady Gaga’s dog walker screaming, “Oh my God! I’ve been shot!” and “Help me!” and “I’m bleeding out from my chest!”
The pop star reacted to the incident by offering a $500,000 reward to get her dogs back, and promised “no questions asked.” Several days later, the dogs were returned to Lady Gaga by a woman named Jennifer McBride, who was also charged in the crime.
Harold White, who was in a relationship with McBride at the time, was another accomplice. On Monday, he pleaded no contest to a count of ex-convict in possession of a gun. White will reportedly be sentenced in 2023.
Another accomplice was Lafayette Whaley, who drove Jackson White’s son, Jaylin White, around Hollywood while they looked for the dogs.
Prosecutors had said that both Jackson and Jaylin White jumped out of the vehicle and attacked the dog walker. They hit and choked Fischer before Jackson eventually shot him. Both Jaylin White and Whaley pleaded no contest to robbery earlier this year.
Jackson was mistakenly released from jail earlier this year due to a clerical error, but was later recaptured over the summer.
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