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Lady Gaga dog thief jailed for 21 years

Police believe the men who stole Lady Gaga's dog didn't know the animals belonged to the star.

Police believe the men who stole Lady Gaga's dog didn't know the animals belonged to the star.

The man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole two of her French bulldogs has taken a plea deal and been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

The Lady Gaga connection was a coincidence, authorities have said.

The motive was the value of the dogs, a breed that can run into the thousands of dollars, and detectives do not believe the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the musician.

James Howard Jackson, one of three men and two accomplices who participated in the violent robbery, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday (AEDT).

Prosecutors said previously that Jackson and others had driven around Hollywood, the city of West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley on February 24, 2021, “looking for French bulldogs”.

They found Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, with the pop star’s three pets.

Surveillance video from the time shows Mr Fischer walking the dogs – Koji, Gustav and Miss Asia – along the street.

A white car pulls up and stops. Two people leap out of the back seat and approach Mr Fischer, saying “Give it up”.

The footage shows a subsequent struggle between Mr Fischer and the duo. A gun is fired, and the dog walker falls to the ground, screaming.

One of his assailants grabs Koji and another grabs Gustav, and the pair jump back into the car, which speeds away.

Miss Asia is seen running back to where Mr Fischer lies on the ground.

A nearby doorbell camera recorded him screaming “oh, my God! I’ve been shot” and “help me” and “I’m bleeding out from my chest”.

He later described the attack as a “very close call with death”.

Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, offered a $US500,000 ($650,000) reward for the return of her dogs as “an act of kindness”. She also praised Mr Fischer as “forever a hero”.

Koji and Gustav were handed in to a Los Angeles police station two days later by Jennifer McBride, who was also charged over the theft.

Jackson also admitted the allegation of inflicting great bodily injury and to a prior strike, the LA district attorney’s office said. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

“The plea agreement holds Mr Jackson accountable for perpetrating a cold0hearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the office said in a statement on Monday.

Mr Fischer has since fully recovered from his injuries.

-with AAP

Topics: Lady Gaga
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