The 19-year-old man arrested over the shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog-walker last year was released from jail in California earlier this week – by mistake, the authorities have said.
James Jackson, 19, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, were charged after the incident last February, accused of attempted murder, second-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with the shooting of Ryan Fischer, who was walking the music artist’s French bulldogs.
Jackson was mistakenly freed following an appearance in court on Wednesday, NBC first reported, citing unnamed sources.
The charges against Jackson appeared to have been dismissed, but with plans to replace them with a superseding grand jury indictment unsealed at the hearing in Los Angeles, the LA county district attorney’s office told NBC later on Thursday.
The outlet further reported that sources with knowledge of the court proceedings noted that it appeared records were not updated about the superseding case.
Jackson is the alleged shooter in the incident and is also accused of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and of carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle whilst being a felon.
Two French bulldogs belonging to the singer – Koji and Gustav – were stolen in the incident, just a month after Lady Gaga sang the Star-Spangled Banner at Joe Biden’s inauguration at the US Capitol following the insurrection by extremist supporters of Donald Trump there days earlier.
A third dog, Miss Asia, managed to evade capture and was recovered by police.
Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ safe return but it was reported last month that she hasn’t yet paid the money to a person who returned the snatched pets, on the advice of police who are still investigating the circumstances of the whole episode. Fischer was wounded in the attack.