Ex-wife charged in fatal shooting of Microsoft executive

The ex-wife of a Microsoft executive who was fatally shot in Florida in front of his two-year-old daughter last year has been charged in connection with his murder, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez has been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to murder, solicitation of murder and child molestation in connection with the death of her ex-husband Jared Bridegan, Jacksonville Beach prosecutors said at a news conference.

Thursday’s indictment makes Gardner-Fernandez the third person charged in connection with Bridegan’s death. Her now husband, 35-year-old Mario Fernandez Saldana, was charged with murder in March and accused of hiring the gunman who shot and killed Bridegan in his car in February 2022. The suspected shooter, 61-year-old Henry Tenon, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March.

At a news conference Thursday, Florida District Attorney Melissa Nelson said prosecutors will be pursuing the death penalty against Gardner-Fernandez.

“Shanna Gardner’s indictment recognizes her central and key role in the cold, calculated and premeditated assassination of Jared Bridegan,” Nelson said.

An image of Jared Bridegan via GoFundMe.
An image of Jared Bridegan via GoFundMe.

According to court documents, Gardner-Fernandez and Bridegan’s relationship became heated following their 2016 divorce. The two argued about finances and custody of their children, now ten-year-old twins.

Prosecutors say that on February 16, 2022, Bridegans dropped off the twins at Gardner-Fernandez’s and was driving home — with his two-year-old daughter in the back seat — when he stopped his car to avoid a tire on the road. At that point, Tenon, allegedly hired by Saldana and who had planted the hoop there on purpose, ambushed Bridegan and shot him dead in front of his daughter, according to court documents.

Tenon has agreed to testify against Saldana as part of his plea agreement.

According to court documents, Saldana was Tenon’s former landlord and communicated frequently with him, writing three checks.

Local news agency News4Jax Gardner-Fernandez, who now lives in Washington state, has reportedly long since denied her involvement in Bridegan’s murder.

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