Officials: Suspect mistakenly freed in Lady Gaga’s dog theft case has been recaptured in California

LOS ANGELES — The suspect who was mistakenly freed about five months ago in Lady Gaga’s dog theft case was recaptured Wednesday, officials say.

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According to the Associated Press, James Howard Jackson, 19, was mistakenly freed on April 6 from a Los Angeles county jail where he was being held for his alleged involvement in the shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stealing her French bulldogs. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed on Wednesday that Jackson was recaptured.

The LACSD said Jackson was released accidentally because of a clerical error.

LACSD, Major Crimes Bureau, and the United States Marshal Service - Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force spent months searching for Jackson. In July, the U.S. Marshals offered a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to Jackson’s arrest, according to the AP.

>> Lady Gaga’s dog walker to make ‘full recovery after being shot during dognapping, family says

Investigators, together with the Special Enforcement Bureau, were able to execute a search warrant at a home in Palmdale, California. Jackson was taken into custody without incident, LACSD said.

According to the AP, Jackson was one of five people arrested in connection with the attack on Lady Gaga’s dog walker and the stealing of her French bulldogs, which happened on February 24, 2021. One of three men charged in the case pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery. Jaylin Keyshawn White, 20, was sentenced to four years in a California state prison.

The AP said prosecutors claimed that Jackson and two other alleged gang members were driving around to look for expensive French bulldogs to dognap and spotted Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, near Sunset Boulevard. Fischer was “hit, choked and then shot” in the attack. According to the AP, the attack was caught on a doorbell camera nearby.

Fischer lost part of his lung as a result of the attack but has been recovering. Lady Gaga’s dogs were returned two days later by a woman who said she found the dogs tied up to a pole and had asked about the reward. According to the AP, she was charged with receiving stolen property.

Jackson was already charged and pleaded not guilty. He was charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a robbery and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, according to the AP.