A woman who allegedly ordered a hit on her Microsoft exec ex-husband will be extradited from Washington state to Florida to face murder charges – thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis.
The Sunshine State’s firebrand signed the order involving 35-year-old Shanna Gardner-Fernandez Thursday, after much speculation as to whether he would take the step – particularly with the attention the case has been receiving.
Formerly of Jacksonville, Gardner-Fernandez stands accused of masterminding a plot that saw her ex-husband, 33-year-old Jared Bridegan gunned down on a road in Jacksonville Beach in February 2022 in front of his daughter from a new marriage.
After the slaying, Gardner-Fernandez – the daughter of owners of a multimillion-dollar papercraft company – relocated to the Pacific Northwest, to a city some 2,800 miles without the death penalty.
In the span since, law officials have honed in on and arrested the woman’s alleged accomplices – a 63-year-old hit man who has owned up to the shooting, and Gardner-Fernandez’s new husband.
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Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, seen here being cuffed at her new $1million home in Washington last month, could now face the death penalty for allegedly masterminding the murder of her Microsoft exec ex husband, who was killed in her old hometown of Jacksonville early last year
Governor Ron DeSantis signed the extradition order Thursday morning, after much speculation as to whether he would take such a step in the highly publicized case
Jared Bridegan was gunned down in front of his daughter, 2, allegedly on Gardner-Fernandez’s orders, as he drove baby Brexan – his child from another marriage – home in Jacksonville Beach
Gardner-Fernandez’s arrest this past August soon followed, at her $1million West Richland home in front of her mom and the 12-year-old twins she shared with Jared.
She’s facing charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder – for which she could now face the death penalty.
The order’s signing was confirmed Thursday to DailyMail.com by the Jacksonville State Attorney’s Office, who said Bridegan will not attend an extradition hearing that had been slated for later in the day.
‘Gardner-Fernandez’s hearing was continued to October 5 to allow Washington to receive the warrant,’ the spokesperson said.
Florida’s 46th governor has yet to issue a statement on his signing of the somewhat anticipated order, which Gardner Fernandez’s legal team last month vowed to fight.
That assertion came during the woman’s first hearing after her August 16 arrest, from high profile criminal defense attorney Hank Coxe – who Gardner-Fernandez has hired.
A spokesperson for DeSantis’s office did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com request for comment, though the warrant is currently confirmed to be en-route to Benton County.
Law officials in DeSantis’s state weeks ago made it clear that they would be seeking the death penalty in Gardner Fernandez’s case – which stems a great deal further back than her somewhat anticipated arrest in August.
Jared was lured out of his car on a quiet patch of road by a tire that had been left in the middle of the road
The Microsoft executive was found 2.2miles from Shanna’s home after dropping off the kids on February 16. It was on a quiet patch of road, where there were no security cameras
Jared was gunned down on this road, surrounded by trees, in Jacksonville Beach. No cameras caught the killing – which came after the late exec exited his vehicle to remove a tire placed in the middle of the road
Hitman Henry Tenon confessed to being the gunman earlier this year, lying in wait and ready to execute Bridegan when he stepped out to remove the obstacle from the road
Five hundred and forty-seven days earlier, Bridegan, a father-of-four who has two kids with the suspect, was killed execution-style just minutes from his ex-wife’s home.
He was shot multiple times at close range in what police described as an ‘ambush’ and ‘targeted’ attack – carried out by Danny Tenon, 61, a former tenant of Gardner-Fernandez’s new husband, Mario Fernandez Saldana.
He is accused of hiring the long-in-the-the-tooth triggerman – who is cooperating against his alleged co-conspirators as part of a plea agreement – to shoot and kill Bridegan in a brutal killing in front of his two-year old daughter.
Committed on a quiet stretch of road lined with thick trees, the murder was not captured on surveillance cameras.
At the time, Bridegan – a senior UX designer at Microsoft – was locked in a deeply acrimonious custody wrangle with his ex-wife over twins Liam and Abby, years after their split in 2015.
On February 16, Jared had just dropped the twins he shares with Gardner-Fernandez off at their mother’s house and was driving home daughter in the backseat when he encountered a tire in the middle of the road.
He stopped and got out to move the tire – but was shot dead by Tenon in the process.
‘For it to be in that area, someone knew what they were doing. There are no cameras, there are no houses there. There’s no Ring doorbell.’ Kirsten, his widow, told DailyMail.com at the time of his murder.
‘It’s trees and a one-way street.’
Police Tenon was arrested on unrelated charges earlier this year, though confessed to his role in the killing under questioning.
He told police that Saldana-Fernandez had hired him, and is now willing to testify against him at trial. The pair met when he rented a home from him.
It’s unclear how Gardner-Fernandez met her new husband, but those who knew them before their arrests say she became ‘wilder and wilder’ as their romance progressed.
Shanna’s new husband, Mario Saldana-Fernandez, was charged earlier this year and is awaiting trial. Once Tenon’s landlord, he allegedly enlisted the 61-year-old to carry out the hit
Shanna with the couple’s twins Abby and Liam. At the time of Jared’s death, she made public Facebook and Instagram pleas for support for them
She visited a tattoo parlor in 2015 asking for a genital piercing – a request that shocked staff who said she looked like a ‘normal mother’.
‘She went from this goody two shoes girl to this wild lady. I just remember thinking, well, this is a changed woman,’ one employee said at the time.
Speaking at the time of the killing – shortly before Gardner-Fernandez moved to Washington with the help of her parents – a then investigating Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said that Bridegan was ‘gunned down in cold blood.’
An investigation ensued – leading to the arrests of Tenlon, Saldana-Fernandez, and most recently Gardner-Fernandez, who appeared unbothered in ATF bodycam footage showing her recent arrest.
It’s unclear what kind of new evidence led police to finally charge Gardener-Fernandez, who has been laying low since the murder – though Kirsten Bridegan, Jared’s widow, said she was not surprised after learning of Telon’s arrest this past January, citing his connection to Gardner-Fernandez’s new husband
‘I’m not surprised to be honest,’ She told Fox News at the time.
‘They charged [Tenon] with conspiracy. That means there are more people. This was orchestrated, this was planned and this was specific to Jared.’
In an emotional last month, Kirsten, joined by her husband’s brother, Adam, 36, told DailyMail.com of her ‘satisfaction’ about Gardner-Fernandez’s arrest.
‘There is satisfaction in knowing that the person I believe was the driving force behind this doesn’t get the privileges that she allegedly took from Jared,’ she said.
‘My personal thought is that I trust [the prosecutors] to make the best decision for the case and if that is the death penalty then we support that.’
Gardner-Fernandez’s trial is now slated to continue in Florida on October 5. Five people have already been executed in the state this year.