In a development marked by dramatic scenes, recently released police body camera footage lays bare the arrest of Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, the former spouse of Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan, in connection with his tragic slaying in 2022.
The arrest took place within the precincts of her West Richland, Washington residence on the 17th of August, with armed agents hailing from the ATF Washington Field Division leading the operation.
Who is Shanna Gardner-Fernandez? Spouse now Turned Suspect in the Murder of Microsoft Executive Jared Bridegan
Captured on the footage are the poignant moments as Gardner-Fernandez, accompanied by the echo of her tearful mother and her twin offspring – not visible in the visuals but discernible through their voices – is taken into custody. Amidst the unfolding events, one of her children queries, “Where are your jeans, mom?” This query transpires as Gardner-Fernandez sits, handcuffed, upon a porch chair, clad in shorts and a T-shirt.
Subsequently, the video progresses to portray her exit from the residence, restrained by handcuffs but now wearing jeans. As she is being ushered towards a police vehicle, an audio fragment captures her uttering, “I love you, honey.”
Moments preceding her apprehension, Gardner-Fernandez faced an indictment by a Duval County grand jury. She faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony, and child abuse, as detailed by the prosecuting authorities.
Declining to provide commentary on the unfolding legal proceedings was her defense counsel, Henry M. Coxe, III.
Earlier in the year, two co-defendants, Henry Tenon and Mario Fernandez Saldana – the current husband of Gardner-Fernandez – were taken into custody concerning the same case. Prosecutors, in an official statement, disclosed that Tenon, a tenant of Fernandez Saldana, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a weapon. He acknowledged his role as the gunman and consented to providing testimony against his associates involved in the killing of Bridegan.
The tragic incident unfolded as Bridegan was en route to his residence after dropping off his twin 9-year-old children – borne of his union with Gardner-Fernandez – at the dwelling she shared with Fernandez Saldana. The lifeless body of Bridegan, bearing multiple gunshot wounds, was discovered strewn across Sanctuary Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach shortly before 8 p.m. on the 16th of February, 2022.
The incident transpired when Bridegan halted his vehicle upon encountering a tire obstructing the roadway. His decision to address the obstruction resulted in a series of fatal gunshots, with his 2-year-old child, secured within a car seat, as a horrified witness.
State Attorney Melissa Nelson, in a statement, declared, “This investigation has uncovered the truth of Jared’s murder… And Shanna Gardner’s indictment acknowledges her central and key role in the cold, calculated, and premeditated murder of Jared Bridegan.”
Gardner has consistently maintained her innocence in relation to the murder. Furthermore, a company owned by her parents affirmed the separation between Gardner and Fernandez Saldana.
The charges against the suspects also encompass child abuse due to the peril inflicted upon Bridegan’s daughter during the shooting incident. The affidavit noted, “Bullets struck the interior of the vehicle, in close proximity to where the child was strapped into her car, an act that reasonably could have been expected to cause physical or mental injury to her.”
Fernandez Saldana is scheduled for a hearing on the 12th of September, while the sentencing of Tenon is pending, with a status hearing earmarked for the 9th of October.