Man Who Shot Lady Gaga’s Dog Walker Sentenced To 21 Years
Early last year, while Ryan Fischer was walking Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs, a group of men approached him to kidnap the dogs, shooting Fischer in his right torso with a .40-caliber handgun and fleeing the scene with two of the three animals. The dogs were recovered the next day, and now the man who shot Fischer has struck a plea deal in a Los Angeles court. As Rolling Stone reports, gunman James Howard Jackson pleaded no contest to attempted murder with great bodily injury, admitting to a prior strike as part of the deal. He’ll face 21 years in prison.
Fischer addressed his assailant at the sentencing. “You shot me and left me to die, and both of our lives have changed forever,” he told Jackson, describing consequences including “lung collapse after lung collapse,” physical therapy, rising debt, “loss of career, friendships, aimlessly traveling the country.” He continued, “I do forgive you. With the attack, you completely altered my life. I know I can’t completely move on from the night you shot me until I said those words to you.” He also thanked Howard for not harming the dogs: “They were returned and returned to their mom. I don’t think I could have lived with myself if they died.”
Howard was mistakenly released from prison in April but captured again in August. He’s said he didn’t know the dogs, named Gustav and Koji, belonged to Gaga — only that they were an extremely rare and valuable breed. Fischer testified that he used hand signals to tell the third dog, Asia, to remain hidden during the attack. Jaylin White, one of the other dognappers, recently was sentenced to four months in a plea deal of his own. A third alleged accomplice, Lafayette Whaley, pled no contest in August.