Man Who Shot Lady Gaga’s Dog Walker Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for 'Cold-Hearted, Violent Act'

Inside Edition
Inside Edition

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office called the attack "a cold-hearted, violent act.”

A California judge has sentenced the man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker in February 2021 to 21 years behind bars.

James Howard Jackson, 20, pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted murder Monday. Other charges Jackson faced were dismissed as part of a plea deal, the BBC reported.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office called the attack "a cold-hearted violent act.”

“The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the DA’s office said in a statement obtained by CNN.

Jackson and several others were driving around Los Angeles looking for bulldogs to take when they came across Ryan Fischer with Lady Gaga’s three French bulldogs on Feb. 24, 2021, according to a criminal complaint. Fischer was attacked and shot. The assailants fled with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav, while a third dog, Miss Asia, ran away and was later found by police.

Jackson was one of four people arrested in the incident. Harold White, who pleaded no contest Monday to a count of being an ex-convict in possession of a firearm, will be sentenced next year.  

Two others involved in the incident were sentenced last year. Jaylin White, 20, was sentenced to four years in prison after he pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree robbery. He admitted that there was a firearm involved in the incident.   

Lafayette Shon Whaley pleaded guilty last year to second-degree robbery and was sentenced to six years in prison.

At the time of the incident, police said that they thought the dogs were targeted because of their breed and not because of who their owner was.

Fischer suffered a collapsed lung and nerve damage from the bullet that entered just below his neck and tore into his shoulder blade. Fischer spoke to Inside Edition earlier this year and said he spent time in Lady Gaga’s home during his recovery.

“I’m so grateful for her to open her home up to me in that way and to be so welcoming to all of my family and friends,” Fischer said.

But staying in Hollywood has become a painful reminder for Fischer of the trauma he suffered.

“I would be walking. All of a sudden a tour bus would show up, and they would start talking about my attack,” Fischer told Inside Edition. So he decided to hit the road, taking inspiration from the film “Nomadland,” which he watched the night before the attack.

“It was motivation for me to heal, to get well enough to be able to take this journey,” Fischer said. Fischer still loves animals and told Inside Edition at the time that he was continuing to volunteer at animal shelters across the United States.

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