Police: Thieves Didn’t Know Dogs Belonged To Lady Gaga

James Howard Jackson sentenced to 21 years in prison for shooting Lady Gaga's dog walker
James Howard Jackson (mugshot via US Marshals Service)

The man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole her French bull dogs last year has pleaded guilty to charges and been sentenced to 21 years in prison. According to authorities, the Gaga connection was just a coincidence and not a motivating factor in the theft.

The true motive for the crime was apparently the value of the French bulldogs, which can run into the thousands of dollars. Police have indicated they do not believe the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the pop star.


James Howard Jackson, one of three men and two accomplices who participated in the violent robbery and its aftermath, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder. Jackson and others drove around Hollywood, the city of West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley on February 24, 2021, “looking for French bulldogs,” said prosecutors.

It was on that day they came across Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, with her three pets.


Fischer, who was severely injured during the crime, was in the courtroom today to give his impact statement as Jackson was sentenced. During the statement, which he posted on social media, he shared that he’s still in the process of healing both mentally and physically from the shooting. Following the attack, part of his lung had to be removed. He is reportedly still undergoing physical therapy. His statement read, in part:

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearing two years since I was taking Asia, Koji and Gustav out for an evening stroll when — in an instant — I suddenly found myself fighting with everything I had to protect those dogs from being stolen. But it wasn’t enough: I was beaten, strangled, shot and left to die bleeding out on a sidewalk and gasping for my life. And Koji and Gustav were gone.”


Fischer also spoke directly to Jackson today: “You completely altered my life, and I know I can’t fully move forward from the night you shot me until I said those words to you.”

The stolen bulldogs were returned several days later by Jennifer McBride, who was also charged in the crime. One twist in the long legal battle: due to a clerical error Jackson was mistakenly released from jail allowing him the chance to try to evade prosecution. It was almost five months before authorities were able to recapture him.

(source: AP)

2 thoughts on “Police: Thieves Didn’t Know Dogs Belonged To Lady Gaga”

  1. I remember thinking this was possibly a hate crime since the dog walker is gay, in any event it looks like just was served thankfully.


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