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Ex-wife of slain Microsoft exec Jared Bridegan charged with his murder

Catherine McQueen/Getty Images

(JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.) — The ex-wife of slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan has been indicted for first-degree murder in what Florida prosecutors called the “cold, calculated and premeditated murder” of the father of four.

Shanna Gardner was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday for first-degree murder, a capital felony, as well as conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and child abuse, prosecutors said.

Bridegan, 33, was shot and killed in the middle of a Jacksonville Beach street last year in what authorities described as a targeted ambush.

Gardner was arrested in West Richland, Washington, and will be extradited to Duval County, authorities said. Her last name has been previously reported as Gardner-Fernandez, though the indictment and prosecutors refer to her as Gardner.

Her attorney declined to comment to ABC News.

Gardner denied any involvement in her ex-husband’s murder last year during her only television interview.

“Any time divorce comes into any situation it’s messy,” she told Jacksonville station WJAX in July 2022.

“Even though we didn’t always get along, he was still the father of my kids,” she said.

Gardner is the third person to be charged in connection with the homicide.

Her current husband, Mario Fernandez Saldana, was indicted by a grand jury on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, five months ago. Fernandez Saldana’s former tenant, Henry Tenon, was arrested earlier this year and is accused of pulling the trigger.

“This investigation has uncovered the truth of Jared’s murder,” State Attorney Melissa Nelson, who is prosecuting the case, said during a press briefing Thursday. “Henry Tenon did not act alone. Mario Fernandez did not plan alone, and Shanna Gardner’s indictment acknowledges her central and key role in the cold, calculated and premeditated murder of Jared Bridegan.”

Bridegan was driving his then-2-year-old daughter in Jacksonville Beach in February 2022 when he came upon a tire blocking his path, police said. When he stepped out of the car, authorities said he was ambushed and murdered.

Nearly a year later, in January 2023, Tenon was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting. He has since pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is cooperating with prosecutors.

Fernandez Saldana was charged with first-degree murder in March in connection with Bridegan’s death and has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty in his case.

Nelson has previously said the tenant-landlord relationship was the “single link” tying Tenon to Bridegan.

Prosecutors will also seek the death penalty against Gardner, authorities said.

“We promised at the outset of this investigation, we would not relent until we uncovered the truth of Jared’s murder,” Nelson said.

The night he was killed, Bridegan was driving home after dropping off twins he shares with his ex-wife when he came upon the tire and was shot, police said.

Bridegan also had two children with his wife, Kirsten Bridegan — the then-2-year-old and a younger daughter who was home with his wife at the time of the shooting.

Gardner’s parents responded to her indictment on Thursday.

“Words cannot accurately express the depth of our sadness,” her parents, Shelli and Sterling Gardner, said. “Family is our top priority. We love our daughter and are focused on supporting her and our entire family as we help our grandchildren navigate this difficult and very confusing time.”

“For their sake and all involved, we caution against further speculation and request privacy as the legal process runs its course,” they added.

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