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Jared Bridegan murder: Ex-wife Shanna Gardner appears in court as DeSantis signs extradition order

Shanna Gardner is accused of conspiring to kill Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan with her new husband Mario Fernandez

Graig Graziosi,Graeme Massie
Friday 15 September 2023 13:34 BST

Arrest made in murder of Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan

Shanna Gardner, the ex-wife accused of orchestrating the death of Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan, appeared in a Washington court on Thursday to dispute her extradition to Florida.

Ms Gardner appeared in Benton County Superior Court after Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed an extradition order, the Jacksonville State Attorney’s Office told News4Jax.

The extradition hearing was an attempt by Ms Gardner’s attorneys to prevent her extradition to Duval County where she faces charges of first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and child abuse.

The ex-wife of Bridegan is accused of hatching a murder-for-hire plot with her second husband, Mario Fernandez, to kill Bridegan by hiring Henry Tenon to shoot him.

Bridegan was dropping off his two children at Ms Gardner’s home in Jacksonville Beach when he was ambushed and fatally shot. One of his other children was in the car at the time.

Ms Gardner, who resides in Washington state, was arrested on 17 August – more than a year after Bridegan was killed.

The Independent has reached out to Jacksonville State Attorney for comment.

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Parents of Shanna Gardner-Fernandez issues statement on arrest

The Kirton McConkie Law Firm in Salt Lake City, Utah, issued a statement on behalf of Ms Fernandez-Gardner’s parents, Shelli and Sterling Gardner.

“Words cannot accurately express the depth of our sadness. Family is our top priority. We love our daughter and are focused on supporting her and our entire family as we help our grandchildren navigate this difficult and very confusing time,” it read.

“For their sake and all involved, we caution against further speculation and request privacy as the legal process runs its course. In the meantime, we are thankful for the continued support, thoughtfulness and prayers being so generously shared by friends and loved ones.”

Jared Bridegan’s widow, Kristen Bridegon, told reporters she was desperate for the grandparents to allow her husband’s two children from his marriage to the suspect to be reunited with their half-sisters.

Kirsten Bridegan, Jared Bridegan, and children in family picture before he was shot dead in Jacksonville Beach

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 10:03
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Who is Henry Tenon?

Mr Tenon, 62, was charged on 25 January with conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree murder with a weapon, accessory after the fact to a capital felony and child abuse. Authorities say that he was a former tenant of Mr Fernandez. He has a long criminal history and was already behind bars awaiting trial on unrelated charges.

Police announced on 16 March that Mr Fernandez had been arrested in Orlando and he was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony and child abuse.

On the same day, it was announced that Mr Tenon had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to testify against him and anyone else potentially involved in the killing.

The state attorney said that Mr Tenon had admitted that he was the gunman and he faces up to 15 years in prison under the plea agreement.

Mr Fernandez pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned in July and prosecutors say that he will not be offered a plea deal. According to the indictment, he wrote Tenon three checks and phone records show the men made more than 70 phone calls to each other before and after the killing.

An old booking photo of Henry Tenon, 62, who has been charged with second-degree murder connected to the 2022 death of Jared Bridegan in Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 07:56
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Officials have not said what led to Shanna Gardner-Fernandez’s arrest

“Henry Tenon did not act alone. Mario Fernandez did not plan alone. And Shanna Gardner’s indictment acknowledges her central and key role in the cold, calculated and premeditated murder of Jared Bridegan,” said State Attorney Melissa Nelson on Thursday.

Jared Bridegan was dropping his eldest twins off at his ex-wife’s home when he was murdered

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 07:07
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Authorities have not given motive for murder

Authorities have not given a motive for the murder, but an arrest warrant states “the investigation into Bridegan’s background revealed a highly acrimonious divorce from his ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, and a contentious relationship with both Gardner and Fernandez Saldana.”

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez charged with murder of ex-husband Jared Bridegan

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 06:01
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Friend of Jared Bridegan breaks silence after father’s ex-wife is charged in his murder

A friend of murdered father of four and Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan has spoken out after Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, Mr Bridegan’s ex-wife, was charged with his murder.

He called the revelation “absolutely wild,” in an interview with The Daily Beast.

“I’m relieved for Jared’s family,” Nate Sanders told the outlet, noting he had seen the effect his ex-wife had on his friend. “As I’ve said before, no one who knew how Shanna treated Jared or her character is surprised by this. I’m just thinking about the Bridegans today and how bittersweet this event is.”

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 05:01
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Who is Mario Fernandez, the man accused of orchestrating Jared Bridegan’s murder?

Mario Fernandez, a Florida landlord, was arrested in March on suspicion of orchestrating the murder of Jared Bridegan.

Mr Fernandez is married to Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, Mr Bridegan’s ex-wife.

Police believe the landlord hired Henry Tenon, a tenant residing in one of his properties, to kill Mr Bridegan. Mr Tenon has admitted to shooting the executive.

Mr Bridegan was shot and killed while trying to move a tire out of the road that was blocking his vehicle on his way back from his ex-wife’s home.

The husband of slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife has been arrested and charged in connection with his murder by the side of a Florida road.

READ MORE:

Husband of Microsoft executive’s ex-wife could face death penalty for roadside murder

Jared Bridegan gunned down in ‘cold blood’ as he drove two-year-old daughter in Jacksonville

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 04:05
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Jared Bridegan’s widow pleads for her children to be reunited with half-sisters

Kristen Bridegan told reporters that Jared’s children with his ex-wife, twins Abby and Liam, had been “kept away and isolated from us” while living with their mother, stepfather and maternal grandparents.

“Despite my constant requests to see or speak to them, I have been denied and continuously ignored,” she said through tears.

“I plead with the Gardners to put the emotional and mental well-being of Liam and Abby above all else and allow them to reconnect with us. We are their family, we love them... Let our children be siblings again and put them first and do what’s right.”

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 03:04
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Ex-wife of slain Microsoft exec Jared Bridegan charged with first degree murder

The ex-wife of slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan, who was fatally shot by a gunman as he drove home with his two-year-old daughter, has been arrested and charged with his murder.

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez was arrested in Washington state on Thursday and will be extradited back to Duval County, Florida, where she has been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder and child abuse.

“We promised at the outset of this investigation we would not relent until we uncovered the truth of Jared’s murder, the whole and entire truth,” State Attorney Melissa Nelson told reporters.

READ MORE:

Ex-wife charged with murder of Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan

Husband of Bridegan’s ex-wife, Mario Fernandez, and his former tenant, Henry Tenon, already charged for their alleged roles in slaying

Graeme Massie18 August 2023 02:05
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Toddler in Jared Bridegan’s car narrowly avoided being hit by gunfire

Jared Bridegan’s toddler, who was in the car with him on the night of his murder, reportedly narrowly avoided being hit by gunfire.

Mr Bridegan was returning home after dropping two of his children off at his ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez’s home, when his path was blocked by a tire in the road. When he exited his car to move the tire, a gunman emerged and shot him.

Though Mr Bridegan’s daughter — a child he had with his second wife — was in the car, she was unharmed. However, investigators found bullets had entered the car’s interior just inches away from where the toddler was seated.

Graig Graziosi17 August 2023 22:05
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Shanna Gardner-Fernandez’s comments following ex-husband’s murder

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, the ex-wife of Jared Bridegan, sat for an interview following her ex-husband’s murder, during which she expressed sadness that he had been killed, stating that he was “still the father of my children.”

“Any time divorce comes into any situation it’s messy,” she told WJAX in July 2022 following his murder.

“Even though we didn’t always get along, he was still the father of my kids,” she said, claiming she “fell to the floor because I was devastated” when she learned he had been killed.

She has now been charged with first degree murder relating to the death of Mr Bridegan.

Ms Gardner-Fernandez insisted at the time she had no idea who carried out the murder.

Graig Graziosi17 August 2023 21:45

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