The husband of Jared Bridegan's ex-wife has been arrested and charged with the brazen execution of the Microsoft executive.
The Jacksonville Beach Police Department announced that Mario Fernandez-Saldana was arrested on Thursday morning for the February 2022 slaying of Bridegan.
Bridegan Killed in Ambush Shooting After Tire Placed in the Middle of the Road
Bridegan was fatally shot last year as he tried to move a tire in the middle of a quiet residential Florida road while his daughter was still in the car.
Bridegan was returning to his St. Augustine home after dropping off his twins at his ex-wife's house when he came upon a tire in the middle of the road. After leaving his 2-year-old daughter in the backseat of his Volkswagen Atlas, Bridegan was fatally shot multiple times "in cold blood" as he was trying to move the tire out of the way.
The toddler, who is one of two daughters he shares with his widow Kirsten Bridegan, was unharmed in the attack and was still in her car seat when an individual drove by minutes later and called authorities. Police say that when they arrived at the crime scene, the hazard lights of Bridegan's car were flashing and the tire was still on the road.
Fernandez-Saldana Conspired with Handyman/Tenant to Kill Bridegan
Fernandez-Saldana, 35, is the second husband of Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, who was married to Bridegan for six years before their divorce in 2015.
He has been indicted on several charges, including first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. The arrest comes months after Fernandez-Saldana's handyman and tenant, Henry Tenon, was arrested in connection with the Feb. 16, 2022, slaying. State Attorney Melissa Nelson said in a press conference that Tenon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Thursday.
"Henry Tenon has admitted that he was the shooter," Nelson said on Thursday. According to authorities, Tenon and Fernandez-Saldana conspired to kill Bridegan for six weeks before the slaying.
Tenon, 61, lived at a Jacksonville home that, until October, was owned by Fernandez-Saldana. Tenon also reportedly worked as a handyman for several of Fernandez's Jacksonville rental properties. Records show Tenon also received "three handwritten checks" from Fernandez-Saldana and had 35 phone conversations in the days leading up to the murder.
"The totality of evidence establishes that Fernandez-Saldana was a principal to Bridegan's murder and that Fernandez-Saldana solicited, conspired with, and assisted others involved in Bridegan's murder," the affidavit states.
Bridegan Had a 'Contentious' Relationship with Ex-Wife and New Husband
Although a motive behind the slaying is not yet known, the arrest affidavit noted that Garnder-Fernandez met Fernandez-Saldana at a CrossFit gym in 2018âwhere the latter was a "maintenance man." Prosecutors also note that Bridegan, Garnder-Fernandez, and Fernandez-Saldana had a "contentious relationship."
Since their divorce, Bridegan and Garnder-Fernandez remained locked in a contentious court battle in St. Johns County, which included fights over child custody and allegations of mental manipulation.