A man who violently assaulted an employee of American singer Lady Gaga to kidnap the star’s dogs was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Monday in Los Angeles.
James Howard Jackson, 20, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, admitting to being part of the group that shot Ryan Fischer while he was walking the ‘Poker Face’ singer’s three French bulldogs in Hollywood in February 2021.
“A plea agreement holds James Howard Jackson accountable for committing a violent, heartless act and brings justice to our victims,” a statement from the district attorney’s office said.
CCTV footage showed two men getting out of a car near the singer’s employee, before shooting him in the chest.
The individuals then seized two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav, fleeing, leaving Ryan Fischer on the ground, bleeding. The third dog, Miss Asia, had run away, but then returned to snuggle up next to her walker.
Ryan Fischer later revealed on Instagram that he had suffered lung damage.
Lady Gaga, known for her hits “Just Dance” or “Bad Romance”, had offered a reward of 500,000 dollars for the return of her precious French bulldogs.
A woman had brought them back, saying she had found them tied to a post, before being arrested in turn. According to the police, she had a relationship with the father of one of the attackers and had been responsible for collecting the reward on their behalf.
James Howard Jackson was released on April 6 following an administrative error and then arrested again four months later.
This sentence comes after that of his accomplices, Jaylin Keyshawn White, 20, sentenced to four years in prison and Lafayette Shon Whaley, 28, sentenced to six years in prison.
The case had illustrated the popularity of these dogs with stars… and criminals, for whom their small size and high price made them prime targets for resale on the black market.