On the night of 24 February 2021, the dog-sitter of Lady Gaga's three French bulldogs was attacked and two of her dogs were stolen.
Lady Gaga's French bulldogs can sleep in peace. The man who shot their dog-sitter on the evening of 24 February 2021 has been sentenced to 21 years in prison. James Howard Jackson, 20, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Ryan Fischer, who was looking after Lady Gaga's three dogs Miss Asia, Koji and Gustav in her absence. The events took place in Hollywood, while the singer was filming House of Gucci in Italy. "A guilty plea agreement holds James Howard Jackson accountable for committing a violent, heartless act and provides justice for our victims," the Los Angeles district attorney said in a statement.
Fischer was hospitalised after being shot four times in the chest. His condition was quickly stabilised, but he said he was suffering from lung damage. He was left bloodied in the street, while the kidnappers fled in a car with two bulldogs, Koji and Gustav. The third, Miss Asia, had come to take refuge near the dog-sitter while waiting for help. The dog was given to the singer's bodyguard. Lady Gaga, devastated by the news of the tragedy, promised a hefty reward for the safe return of her little companions: "I will pay $500,000 for their safe return […] If you bought them or found them without your knowledge, the reward will be the same," she detailed in an Instagram post.
Released for an administrative error
The two dogs had been returned to Lady Gaga two days after their theft. The woman who returned them had a connection to the father of one of the thieves, who was himself involved in the plot, according to police. A de facto accomplice, she would have been responsible for collecting the $500,000 reward on behalf of the thieves. James Howard Jackson, the gunman, was charged with attempted murder and robbery and released on 6 April following a clerical error, only to be rearrested in August. On the same day, his accomplice, 20-year-old Jaylin Keyshawn White, pleaded guilty to stealing the dogs and was sentenced to four years in prison. Another thief, Lafayette Shon Whaley, 28, was sentenced to six years in prison.
It doesn't look like either of them wanted to hurt Lady Gaga. The diva's bulldogs are purebred dogs, at the heart of a vast trafficking operation that could have had a dramatic outcome in this case. "This is a shameless crime committed on a public street that left a man seriously injured," the Los Angeles district attorney said.
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