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Microsoft Executive's Ex-Wife Indicted in His "Cold, Calculated, and Premeditated" Murder
Shanna Gardner-Fernandez was taken into custody by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after being indicted on charges including first-degree murder in the death of Jared Bridegan.
The ex-wife of Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan has been arrested after a grand jury indicted her on charges of murder, conspiracy and solicitation in his death, authorities announced at a Thursday press conference.
Shanna Gardner-Fernandez was arrested and taken into custody by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington state after being indicted on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder and child abuse, according to Melissa Nelson, the state attorney for the 4th Judicial Circuit in Florida.
Nelson said that her office is seeking Gardner-Fernandez's extradition to Florida and that they intend to seek the death penalty.
"Shanna Gardner's indictment acknowledges her central and key role in the cold, calculated and premeditated murder of Jared Bridegan," Nelson said at the press conference.
Bridegan, 33, was fatally shot on a desolate, one-way street in Jacksonville Beach, Florida in February 2022. At the time, authorities said that it appeared to be a setup, as there was a tire in the middle of the road and his Volkswagen Atlas' emergency flashers were on. His 2-year-old daughter, Bexley, from his current marriage was found safe in her car seat.
Since then, authorities have arrested Henry Tenon and Gardner-Fernandez's husband Mario Fernandez-Saldana. According to Nelson's office, Tenon has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Gardner-Fernandez and Fernandez-Saldana.
Bridegan's widow Kirsten Bridegan previously told NBC's Dateline that she doesn't know who Tenon was or what connection he had to Gardner-Fernandez. Kristen told the program, "He lives in a part of town we never frequented. I know for a fact Jared did not know this man and this man did not know Jared."
Details about the evidence against Gardner-Fernandez and her co-conspirators will be shared in the discovery process, according to Nelson.
Bridegan's family spoke out about Gardner-Fernandez's arrest immediately after the press conference, telling reporters that they have experienced immense grief in the past year. "There is a pain in our hearts that will never go away," his brother, Adam, said.
Kirsten additionally spoke at the press conference, telling reporters, "Shanna’s arrest ends one horrific chapter of our pursuit for justice for Jared. And now we open a new one. This next chapter will be excruciating but we are confident in the ability of the state's attorney's office and law enforcement to bring truth to light. We expect to see justice carried out to the fullest extent of the law.
She also made a tearful request to the Gardner family that they allow her to see Jared's 9-year-old twins, a boy and a girl whom he shared with Gardner-Fernandez. She alleged that she has made repeated efforts to see the twins since the murder but they have been kept from her throughout the course of the investigation.
"Allow them to reconnect with us. We are their family; we love them; we have prayed for them every single day," she said. "Let our children be siblings again."
On the night of the murder, Jared had just dropped off the twins with Gardner-Fernandez after taking them out for dinner, as was tradition, Kirsten previously told Dateline.