LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A second man who had been charged in the shooting of Lady Gaga’s dog walker and the theft of two of the singer’s French bulldogs pleaded no contest Thursday to second-degree robbery.
Superior Court Judge Richard S. Kemalyan immediately sentenced Lafayette Shon Whaley, 28, to six years in state prison in connection with the charge along with his admission of a prior strike for a 2016 criminal threats case. Two other charges against him, including attempted murder, were dismissed as a result of his plea.
Whaley’s plea came eight days after co-defendant Jaylin Keyshawn White, 20, pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery and admitted that another defendant was armed during the Feb. 24, 2021, attack on Lady Gaga’s longtime dog walker, Ryan Fischer. White was sentenced Aug. 3 to four years in state prison.
Whaley and White were charged in April 2021 along with the alleged gunman, James Howard Jackson, who is now 20 and was re-arrested last week after mistakenly being released from custody April 6 due to a clerical error.
Jackson is charged with one count each of attempted murder, second- degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and a felon carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
Fischer was walking three French bulldogs belonging to the singer when he was shot, and two of the dogs were stolen in the 1500 block of North Sierra Bonita Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard.
Surveillance video from a home security system shows Fischer walking on the sidewalk when a white sedan pulls up and stops in the street, with two people jumping from the back seat and saying, “Give it up.”
A struggle ensued and one gunshot was fired, prompting Fischer to fall to the ground, screaming. The assailants each grabbed one dog — named Koji and Gustav — and got back into the rear seat of the car, leaving Fischer on the ground yelling for help.
The singer’s other bulldog, Miss Asia, ran back to Fischer on the ground after the assailants’ vehicle disappeared from view.
Jennifer McBride — who police said reported that she found the dogs and responded to a reward email to return them — is charged with one count each of being an accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property.
The 52-year-old woman, who brought the dogs to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Division, allegedly had a relationship with Harold White, the now-42-year-old father of Jaylin White, according to police and prosecutors.
Harold White is charged with one count each of being an accessory after the fact and possession of a firearm with an enumerated prior conviction involving a firearm.
A pretrial hearing is set Sept. 20 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for the remaining three defendants.
Lady Gaga, who was in Italy filming a movie at the time of the shooting, had offered a $500,000 reward for her pets’ safe return and praised Fischer, saying he risked his life “to fight for our family. You’re forever a hero.”
In a Instagram post about a month after the crime, Fischer said he had been recovering well from the shooting when his lung collapsed and he had to have emergency surgery.
Los Angeles police said detectives did not believe the victim was targeted because of the dogs’ owner, but suspect that the great value of the breed was known and was the motivation for the robbery.