$5,000 reward offered after mistaken release of suspect in shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker
Months after a 19-year-old suspected of shooting Lady Gaga’s dog walker in Los Angeles was mistakenly released from jail, federal authorities are offering a reward for information on his whereabouts.
The U.S. Marshals Service announced Monday that it would provide up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of James Howard Jackson — one of five people arrested in connection with the February 2021 incident.
Jackson appeared for a court hearing April 5 and was released from custody the next day “due to a clerical error,” authorities said.
Greg Risling, a Los Angeles County district attorney’s office spokesperson, told The Times in April that Jackson was found competent to stand trial and that prosecutors had indicted him April 6 “to speed up the legal process.”
Jackson was arraigned under a new case number and was later released from custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Risling said.
“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,” he said at the time.
On Tuesday, Risling referred questions on Jackson’s mistaken release to the Sheriff’s Department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Ryan Fischer was walking Lady Gaga’s three French bulldogs Feb. 25, 2021, in Hollywood 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 was later 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 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.
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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.
Jackson is described as a Black male with black hair, brown eyes, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing about 120 pounds, the Marshals Service said.
He “should be considered armed and dangerous,” the Marshals Service said. “Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should contact law enforcement immediately. Tips may be submitted via the USMS Tips app.”
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