A manhunt is underway in Los Angeles for the teenager jailed last year for gunning down Lady Gaga’s dog walker in Hollywood and absconding with two of the pop star’s pets after he was erroneously released from detention earlier this week, police said on Friday.
According to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, 19-year-old James Howard Jackson was released from custody at 3:38 p.m. on Wednesday after the attempted murder and robbery charges against him were erroneously dismissed the day after he attended a court appearance. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that it is now looking for him.
“The investigation is continuing and the LASD Major Crimes Bureau is actively working to get Mr. Jackson back in custody,” the department said in a statement emailed to LA Magazine.
Jackson had attended court proceedings at downtown L.A.’s Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday; his release on Wednesday was “due to a clerical error,” the department said. On Thursday night, KNBC reported that the dismissed charges were meant to be replaced by a superseding grand jury indictment that had been unsealed during the hearing; sources familiar with the situation said that the unsealed indictment was never entered into records, the station reported.
Last year, Jackson and two other men were charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery for the shooting of Ryan Fischer on the 1500 block of Sierra Bonita Avenue on Feb. 25, 2021. Fisher was walking the Oscar winner’s three dogs — Koji, Asia, and Gustav — when two men jumped out of a car and attempted to snatch the pooches. Fisher resisted during the robbery and was shot in the chest; he has since recovered from the shooting. The robbers escaped with two of the dogs.
Prosecutors have said they believe that Jackson was the triggerman in the shooting. When he was captured, Jackson was also charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm in a vehicle.
The pop singer’s stolen dogs, Koji and Gustav, were recovered after 51-year-old Jennifer McBride brought them into a Los Angeles police station, saying that the two pricey pooches were found tied to a pole; McBride also inquired about the $500,000 reward that had been offered for their safe return. It was soon discovered that McBride was in a relationship with Harold White, 41, the father of one of the young men accused of assaulting Fischer.
McBride and White were charged as accessories to the shooting and robbery while White’s son, 20-year-old Jaylin White was charged with attempted murder and other felonies along with alleged accomplices Lafayette Whaley, 28, and Jackson.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has asked that anyone with information on Jackson’s whereabouts contact them at (213) 229-1850.
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