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Man charged with shooting Lady Gaga's dog walker sentenced to 21 years in prison

James Howard Jackson pleaded no contest to an attempted murder charge in the February 2021 robbery.
Lady Gaga in London on Nov. 9, 2021.
Lady Gaga in London on Nov. 9, 2021.Vianney Le Caer / Invision/AP file

LOS ANGELES — The man involved in the shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker during a robbery last year was sentenced Monday to 21 years in prison, officials said.

James Howard Jackson, 20, pleaded no contest to the attempted murder charge and was immediately sentenced to prison, NBC Los Angeles reported.

In August, almost four months after he was mistakenly freed from custody in Los Angeles, Jackson was captured and arrested in Palmdale, a city north of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

Jackson was charged in the Feb. 24, 2021, shooting of dog walker Ryan Fischer. He was released from jail by mistake on April 6 due to what the sheriff’s department has said was a clerical error.

Jackson was also charged with one count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle. Those charges were dropped with the plea entered Monday, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Fischer was walking Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs in Hollywood when he was robbed by three people, officials have said.

Two dogs were stolen, and Jackson allegedly shot Fischer in the chest with a .40-caliber handgun. Fischer survived.

Jackson and two other people were charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery. Two other people were charged with being an accessory after the fact.

One of the men, Jaylin Keyshawn White, 20, pleaded no contest to a charge of second-degree robbery and was sentenced to four years in state prison in August, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Other charges, including attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and assault were dismissed as a result of his plea, Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said to the news outlet. 

The dogs, Koji and Gustav, were turned into police unharmed days after the robbery. Lady Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward for their return.

The Los Angeles Police Department said at the time they don’t think the robbers knew the animals belonged to the musician but targeted them because that breed of dog is expensive.

The American Kennel Club ranked French bulldogs as the second-most popular breed of dog in 2021.

Eric Leonard reported from Los Angeles, Antonio Planas reported from New York.