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LA sheriffs inadvertently free the man suspected of shooting Lady Gaga's dog walker

James Howard Jackson was in custody for attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Grammy award winning singer's dog walker and the theft of two of her French Bulldogs in February 2021.
Emma McIntyre
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Getty Images for The Recording A
James Howard Jackson was in custody for attempted murder in connection with the shooting of Grammy award winning singer's dog walker and the theft of two of her French Bulldogs in February 2021.

A man accused of shooting Lady Gaga's dog walker in a botched pet-robbery last year inadvertently was released from jail on Wednesday and remains on the loose, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department told NPR.

James Howard Jackson was in custody on charges of attempted murder in connection with the February 2021 shooting, as well as the theft of two of the Grammy award winning singer's French Bulldogs.

But after attending court proceedings at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday, Jackson was released from custody the next day due to what the sheriff's department called a clerical error.

It seems that in an effort to speed up the legal process, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office had moved to dismiss the existing charges against Jackson in order to charge 19-year-old on a superseding grand jury indictment. Those charges were then filed with the court under a new case number.

Unfortunately, the new information was not relayed to all of the departments involved, including the jail where Jackson was being held.

"Mr. Jackson was subsequently released from custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department," the district attorney's office told NPR in an emailed statement. "We are unsure as to why they did so."

Jackson and two other men allegedly were involved in the shooting of dog walker Ryan Fischer, who refused to give up the pop star's pooches even at gunpoint. Fisher sustained critical injuries that led to one of his lungs collapsing after he was initially discharged from the hospital. He eventually needed to have portions of it removed, but is now recovered.

The French bulldog were returned to authorities two days later by a woman who said she had found them.

On Thursday, the district attorney's office said they were working with the Sheriff's Department to take Jackson back into custody. They are asking anyone who has information to reach out to the sheriff's department.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.