LOS ANGELES (AP) — The man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole her French bulldogs last year took a plea deal and was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Monday (Dec. 5), officials said.
The Lady Gaga connection was a coincidence, authorities have said. The motive was the value of the French bulldogs, a breed that can run into the thousands of dollars, and detectives do not believe the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the musician.
James Howard Jackson, one of three men and two accomplices who participated in the violent robbery, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Jackson and others drove around Hollywood, the city of West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley on Feb. 24, 2021 “looking for French bulldogs,” prosecutors said previously. They found Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, with the pop star’s three pets.
Jackson shot Fischer during the robbery, during which two of the dogs were taken. A nearby doorbell camera recorded the dog walker screaming “Oh, my God! I’ve been shot!” and “Help me!” and “I’m bleeding out from my chest!”
Fischer later called the violence a “very close call with death” in social media posts. The dogs were returned several days later by a woman who was also charged in the crime.
Jackson also admitted the allegation of inflicting great bodily injury and to a prior strike, the DA’s office said Monday. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
“The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the office said in a statement.
Lady Gaga’s representatives did not immediately return a request for comment.