The 19-year-old man arrested for the attempted murder and robbery of singer Lady Gaga’s friend and dog walker on a Hollywood sidewalk pleaded no guilty Monday to one count of attempted murder.
James Howard Jackson, who spent about five months hiding from detectives after he was mistakenly released from jail while awaiting trial, was arrested again in August and charged with shooting Ryan Fischer in the February 2021 attack.
He was immediately sentenced to 21 years in prison, authorities said.
Fischer was seriously injured and survived.
Two of the singer’s three French bulldogs were stolen in the sidewalk mugging, which the Los Angeles Police Department says 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.
Jackson was also charged with one count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, while White also faces one count of assault by force likely to result in grievous bodily injury.
Those charges were dropped with the guilty plea entered Monday.
One of the three men was mistakenly released, but was captured. Eric Leonard reports for NBC4 News on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
Gaga offered a half million dollar reward for the return of the dogs, and eventually a woman showed up at a Los Angeles police station with the dogs and tried to claim the reward.
The dogs and Gaga were reunited as police continued to investigate, and eventually detectives said they were able to link the woman who claimed the bounty to the others.
She and another man were also accused of participating in the crime.
At the time of the arrests, LAPD officers said they did not believe the suspects were attacking the victim because of the dogs’ owner.
“Evidence suggests that the suspects were aware of the great value of the dog breed” and that “it was the motive for the theft,” police said.
In April 2022, NBC4’s I-Team reported that an apparent clerical or clerical error resulted in Jackson being released from jail in downtown Los Angeles the day after a pretrial hearing.
Following that hearing, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the initial charges brought against Jackson should have been superseded by charges contained in a grand jury indictment.
Jackson disappeared downtown and was not found until August, when members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the US Marshals Service located him at a home on Apricot Drive in Palmdale.