Jared Bridegan's Ex-Wife Arrested for His Murder, Conspired with Her Husband to Kill Microsoft Exec Amid Custody Dispute

Mario Fernandez-Saldana, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez and Jared Bridegan
Mario Fernandez-Saldana and Shanna Gardner-Fernandez (left) and Jared Bridegan. Facebook

The ex-wife of a man who was killed in the middle of a street in front of his 2-year-old daughter has been charged in the "cold, calculated and premeditated murder," Florida officials said.

Jared Bridegan, a Microsoft executive and father of four, was found fatally shot outside his Volkswagen Atlas on a Jacksonville Beach street in February last year.

Bridegan's Wife Allegedly Plotted His Murder with Her Husband

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Bridegan's ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, on charges that include murder, conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder, said Melissa Nelson, the state attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit in Florida. Nelson said her office intends to seek the death penalty.

Officials say Gardner, 36, conspired with her husband to plan the slaying. Her husband and another man were previously arrested in the case. However, according to Nelson, Gardner was the mastermind behind the plot.

"Shanna Gardner's indictment acknowledges her central and key role in the cold, calculated and premeditated murder of Jared Bridegan," Nelson said Thursday at a news conference.

Gardner was arrested in West Richland, Washington, on Thursday morning by agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Nelson said.

She is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder and child abuse, prosecutors said.She was being held without bail in the Benton County, Washington, jail Thursday night, jail records show.

Gardner and Her Husband Allegedly Solicited Someone to Kill Bridegan

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez
Shanna Gardner-Fernandez with her present husband Mario Fernandez Twitter

An indictment alleges that she and her husband, Mario Fernandez-Saldana, conspired to cause Bridegan's death and solicit someone else to kill him. Bridegan, 33, was fatally shot in front of his 2-year-old daughter, who was unharmed in the back seat of the Volkswagen.

His widow, Kirsten Bridegan, told NBC's "Dateline" that when he did not come home on Feb. 16, 2022, she went driving looking for him and kept calling his phone until a police officer answered.

The officer told her that her daughter was OK but that she needed to go to the police station. Bridegan had dropped off the twin 9-year-old children he had with Gardner at Gardner's home, prosecutors have said.

He was driving on his regular route home when he stopped to remove a tire from the middle of the road, the state attorney's office has said. When he got out, he was shot multiple times.

Prosecutors noted that Bridegan, Gardner, 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.

Fernandez-Saldana Hired His Tenant to Carry Out the Killing

Mario Fernandez-Saldana and Henry Tenon
Mario Fernandez-Saldana and Henry Tenon Twitter

Henry Tenon is alleged to have carried out the killing, and Fernandez-Saldana is alleged to have been involved in planning it, Nelson said. Tenon, 62, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder this year and agreed to testify against any accomplice, the state attorney's office has said.

He has not been sentenced, according to court records. He was a tenant of Fernandez-Saldana's, prosecutors said. Fernandez-Saldana, 35, was indicted in March on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony and child abuse. Fernandez-Saldana has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty against him.