The gunman was falsely released from prison after being accused of shooting Lady Gaga’s dog-walker and taking two French bulldogs. They were re-captured on Wednesday while hiding in a high desert area situated in north Los Angeles County, authorities have said.
The suspect in the attempted murder James Jackson, 19, was “apprehended without incident” when he was serving an arrest warrant at Palmdale, California, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office stated. The arrest came on the same day that a second suspect in the investigation, Jaylin White, pleaded “no contest” to second-degree robbery, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Jackson had been let out of prison through a mistake in April after a “clerical error” led to the impression at the time that attempted murder second-degree burglary, and conspiracy for committing robbery accusations against him had been dropped. Jackson was initially taken into custody in April 2021, along with White 20, and the third accused assailant Lafayette Whaley, 28.
Prosecutors allege that the trio attacked pet walker Ryan Fischer on Feb. 24, 2021, while Fischer strolled with the three beloved pets along an avenue in Hollywood. Jackson is believed to have fired Fischer to the chest using the help of a .40-caliber handgun when Fischer refused to release the three dogs: Asia, Gustav and Koji.
In testimony before a secret grand jury in the year 2000, Fischer said the man who was carrying the gun “threw” him over an embankment of concrete and choked him in an intense fight. “The dog, Koji, yelled at me and I reached for him, but then the who was holding his gunshot me when I was reaching for him,” Fischer testified, saying that he fell to the floor as his attackers fled along with Gustav the dog and Koji in the vehicle of a Nissan Sentra.
Fischer was in court for White’s plea hearing and sentencing on Wednesday and gave a harrowing statement of impact on the victim. “You have left me bleeding and gasping for breath,” Fischer said directly to White as he sat staring at his lap in the custody of the table for defence. “I nearly died the night I was arrested.”
Fischer explained the severe nerve damage that resulted from the bullet that cut through his right upper torso. He also described how doctors were forced to remove parts of his lung because it continued to collapse. He also said that he suffers from breathing problems and mobility issues.
“But it’s the emotional and mental stress you created the night that’s made it more severe,” he said. Weeping in pain, Fischer said he’s been in a position to not be able to resume his business in animal care following the close-to-fatal attack.
“You don’t just steal dogs from me and you took my job,” Fischer told White. Today, when Fischer is trying to look after pets, he is concerned about “every move” that he takes, “worried something is going befall dogs,” he said.
“I’ve lost everything. I’m deeply in credit card debt and I’ve turned to the generosity and kindness of friends, strangers and family to get by,” he said, noting that his mother would like to appear in court as well, but she did not have enough money to pay for a flight.
In a non-specific way, Fischer said, “other friends appear to have left me in my times in need.” Fischer also revealed that he hasn’t seen the dogs of Lady Gaga since the past year and that it’s been a “struggle to understand the reason.”
“I am sad every day. They were my entire existence,” he said.
“You took my motivation away and I’m in a state of confusion without that,” he told White and added that his goal for the future is that the two can find ways to be healed.
“I will live a fulfilled life that benefits others and myself. That’s my goal for you. My desire for you is identical. When you’ve completed your sentence and you decide to amend your past, you must find something meaningful from this. Find a purpose and help the people in your life. This will be more meaningful to me than any other type of time you spend serving,” he said.
It was not immediately clear what authorities did to locate Jackson. The U.S. Marshals Service announced a $5,000 reward for information that leads to his return to custody.
Two other people — White’s father Harold White and Jennifer McBride were also charged with accessory charges following the incident. According to the transcript of the grand jury which was obtained from Rolling Stone, a .45 calibre handgun was retrieved from the storage area of Harold White’s bedroom. White was also reported to have acknowledged in court to “there were dogs roaming around my yard at one time.”
McBride who is an alleged acquaintance of Harold White is the woman who reported the dogs to the police a few days after she claimed to have discovered the dogs stuck to the pole.
The remaining suspects in the trial have pleaded not guilty, and are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 20th for their pretrial hearing.