Man Accused of Shooting Lady Gaga's Dog Walker Mistakenly Released

Sheriff's department blames clerical error for release of James Howard Jackson
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2021 1:19 AM CDT
Updated Apr 9, 2022 6:31 AM CDT
5 Alleged Dognappers Arrested in Lady Gaga Case
In this Jan. 20, 2021 file photo, Lady Gaga sings the national anthem during President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington.   (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool, File)

Update: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says the man accused of shooting Lady Gaga's dog walker during a robbery last year was mistakenly released on Wednesday and is still at large. The department tells CNN that James Howard Jackson, 19, was freed the day after a court appearance due to a "clerical error." Jackson, one of five people charged in the attack, allegedly shot dog walker Ryan Fischer when he tried to resist an attempt to steal two of the singer's French bulldogs. Our original story from April 29, 2021 follows:

Five people have been arrested in the alleged February kidnapping of two of Lady Gaga's dogs, which ended with the pop star's dog walker, Ryan Fischer, shot. Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department don't think the suspects specifically targeted the dogs because they're Gaga's, but rather because they knew the breed, French bulldogs, could bring a high price if sold, the Los Angeles Times reports. One of the suspects is Jennifer McBride, the 50-year-old who actually brought the purebred dogs to an LAPD station, claiming to have discovered them and asking about the $500,000 reward being offered by Gaga. Police say she's in a relationship with Harold White, 40, who's also charged; they believe White recruited her to drop off the dogs after hearing about the reward.

White's 19-year-old son Jaylin White is also among the suspects. Police say it was the younger White, along with the final two suspects (James Jackson, 18, and Lafayette Whaley, 27) who actually grabbed the dogs and attacked Fischer, with Jackson accused of being the gunman. Those three face charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery, with Jackson facing two additional firearms charges and White facing an additional assault charge, TMZ reports. The older suspects face accessory after the fact charges, plus a firearms charge for the elder White and a charge of receiving stolen property for McBride. Fischer and the dogs are all OK now, and police had already advised Gaga not to pay out the reward. (More Lady Gaga stories.)

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