The alleged shooter in the attempted murder of Lady Gaga’s dog walker was released from jail Wednesday due to a “clerical error,” and authorities have asked for the public’s help finding him again.
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James Howard Jackson, 19, was sprung from custody at 3:38 p.m. Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed. The reason for the release was listed on the department’s website as “dismissed,” but prosecutors said the case remains active under a new number tied to a new superseding indictment.
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the inadvertent release from custody of defendant James Howard Jackson,” the department said in a statement. “Defendant Jackson attended court proceedings at the Clara Shortridge Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, and was released from custody on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, due to a clerical error. The investigation is continuing and the LASD Major Crimes Bureau is actively working to get Mr. Jackson back in custody.”
The department asked anyone with information about Jackson’s whereabouts to contact authorities.
“On Monday, Mr. Jackson was found competent to stand trial. He was arraigned the next day on a superseding indictment filed in court under a new case number. The old case was then dismissed by a judge as required by law,” a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney said in a statement.
Jackson had been in custody for nearly a year and was being held in lieu of more than $3 million bail before his release.
At a secret grand jury proceeding last October, Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee told grand jurors that Jackson shot Gaga’s dog walker Ryan Fischer the night of Feb. 24, 2021 because Fischer refused to hand over the pop star’s three French bulldogs.
She said Jackson was with co-defendants Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley when the trio targeted Fischer and the French bulldogs due to the value of the breed. She said there was no evidence the men knew the dogs belonged to the superstar singer.