Man arrested in shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker is erroneously released from jail
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 due to a clerical error, according to authorities.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department inmate records show James Howard Jackson was released from custody at 3:38 p.m. Wednesday after his case was dismissed.
Jackson “was in custody for attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker and the theft of two of the singer’s French bulldogs” in late February 2021, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
Jackson attended court proceedings at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown L.A. on Tuesday and was released from custody the following day, the department said, “due to a clerical error.”
Five people have been arrested in connection to the shooting of Lady Gaga’s dogwalker in Hollywood in February.
The district attorney’s office told KNBC-TV Channel 4 late Thursday that the dismissed charges were set to be replaced by a superseding grand jury indictment, which was unsealed during a court hearing Wednesday.
“Several sources familiar with the court proceedings said it appeared the superseding case was not entered against Jackson,” the station reported.
On Friday, D.A. spokesperson Greg Risling said Jackson was found competent to stand trial on Monday in court.
“Our office indicted Mr. Jackson on Tuesday to speed up the legal process,” the D.A.’s office said in a statement. “He was arraigned on the indictment under a new case number. Mr. Jackson was subsequently released from custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. We are unsure as to why they did so, however our office is working with the Sheriff’s Department to take Mr. Jackson back into custody.”
Los Angeles Superior Court spokesperson Ann Donlan said in a statement that an arrest warrant was issued when the court learned about Jackson’s release.
“The Court is conducting an investigation on this serious error and has no further comment at this time,” Donlan said.
Jackson was among five people arrested last year in connection with the shooting of Ryan Fischer, the dog walker.
Fischer was walking Lady Gaga’s three French bulldogs in the 1500 block of Sierra Bonita Avenue in Hollywood on Feb. 25, 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. 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.
‘It’s hard for people to understand why someone would go about healing in this way,’ says Ryan Fischer, who was shot while walking Lady Gaga’s dogs.
The dogs were recovered after a woman walked into a Los Angeles police station with the two bulldogs days after the shooting.
She said 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.
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.
Anyone with information on Jackson’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at (213) 229-1850.
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