After more than 18 months of investigation, an arrest has been made in the murder case of Jared Bridegan, a Microsoft executive who was shot to death in front of his young daughter. Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, the ex-wife of Bridegan, has been charged in connection to his death. She now faces charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and child endangerment. The announcement was made by Melissa Nelson, the state attorney for Jacksonville’s Fourth Judicial District, who emphasized Gardner-Fernandez’s pivotal role in the calculated and premeditated murder. The arrest brings a sense of closure to Bridegan’s family, who have been seeking justice for over a year and a half.
Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, 35, was taken into custody in West Richland, Washington, where she had been living. The arrest comes after the indictment of Mario Fernandez, Gardner-Fernandez’s husband, and Henry Tenon, Fernandez’s former tenant, for their alleged involvement in the killing. The state attorney’s office seeks the death penalty for Gardner-Fernandez and her husband. The nature of the new evidence that led to Gardner-Fernandez’s indictment has not been disclosed.
Kirsten Bridegan, the widow of Jared Bridegan, expressed her relief at the arrest, stating that she had suspected Gardner-Fernandez’s involvement from the beginning. She delivered a tearful statement at the news conference, acknowledging the end of one chapter in their pursuit for justice and the beginning of a new, potentially excruciating one. The couple had divorced in 2015 but continued to engage in legal battles over finances and custody of their twins.
Jared Bridegan, a 33-year-old software developer for Microsoft, was fatally shot on February 16, 2022, in an affluent suburb of Jacksonville Beach. He had just dropped off his twins with Gardner-Fernandez and was on his way back home when he was lured out of his car and shot multiple times in front of his toddler daughter, Bexley. The bullets narrowly missed the little girl strapped in her car seat. The investigation revealed that Gardner-Fernandez had hired a prominent criminal defense lawyer and had moved thousands of miles away to the Pacific Northwest, cutting off contact between the twins and their half-sisters.
During the news conference, Kirsten Bridegan pleaded with Gardner-Fernandez’s family to allow the twins to reconnect with their sisters, emphasizing the emotional and mental well-being of the children. She expressed her love for the twins and the family’s prayers for their well-being since they were separated. The case has garnered significant public attention, and the arrest of Gardner-Fernandez brings hope for justice for the Bridegan family.