Man arrested in Lady Gaga's dog walker shooting mistakenly freed

Los Angeles, California - A 19-year-old who was arrested last year in connection with the shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker was mistakenly released from jail this week, according to authorities.

Ryan Fischer (l.) was hospitalized in February 2021 after being shot in Hollywood by three men, who kidnapped two of Lady Gaga's (r.) dogs (inset). One of the men, James Howard Jackson, was erroneously released from jail this week.
Ryan Fischer (l.) was hospitalized in February 2021 after being shot in Hollywood by three men, who kidnapped two of Lady Gaga's (r.) dogs (inset). One of the men, James Howard Jackson, was erroneously released from jail this week.  © Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/valleyofthedogs & ladygaga

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department inmate records show James Howard Jackson was released from custody at 3:38 PM on Wednesday, after his case was dismissed.

Sheriff's officials and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office could not immediately confirm details, but KNBC-TV Channel 4 reported that Jackson's release was in error. The station cited law enforcement sources who said that a replacement case should have been filed, but records weren't updated and Jackson was released.

The district attorney's office told KNBC late on Thursday that the dismissed charges were set to be replaced by a superseding grand jury indictment, which was unsealed during a court hearing on Wednesday.

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"Several sources familiar with the court proceedings said it appeared the superseding case was not entered against Jackson," the station reported.

Jackson was among five people arrested last year in connection with the shooting of Ryan Fischer, Lady Gaga's dog walker.

Five were arrested in the dognapping scheme

After the incident in Febrary 2021, Lady Gaga posted photos of her kidnapped dogs Koji and Gustav on Instagram. They were later returned to police.
After the incident in Febrary 2021, Lady Gaga posted photos of her kidnapped dogs Koji and Gustav on Instagram. They were later returned to police.  © Screenshot/Instagram/ladygaga

Fischer was walking Lady Gaga's three French bulldogs in the 1500 block of Sierra Bonita Avenue in Hollywood in late February 2021 when a car pulled up and two men jumped out.

Fischer resisted when the men tried to snatch the dogs, and he was shot in the chest. The assailants took two of the dogs and escaped, and Fischer has since been released from a hospital.

Jackson was accused of pulling the trigger, according to prosecutors. In addition to attempted murder, he was charged at the time of his initial arrest with assault with a semiautomatic firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm in a vehicle, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery.

The dogs were recovered after a middle-aged woman walked into a Los Angeles police station with the two bulldogs days after the shooting. She claimed she had simply come across the dogs tied to a pole and asked about a $500,000 reward the singer had offered for their return, police said at the time.

That woman, 51-year-old Jennifer McBride, was later arrested in connection. McBride, the Los Angeles Police Department said, was in a relationship with Harold White (41) the father of one of the men accused of assaulting Fischer. McBride and White were charged as accessories to the shooting and robbery.

White's son, Jaylin White (20) along with Jackson and Lafayette Whaley (28) were charged with attempted murder and several other felonies stemming from the attack, police said.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/valleyofthedogs & ladygaga

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