(JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.) — A second person has been arrested and charged in the murder of Jared Bridegan, a former Microsoft executive who was shot and killed in the middle of a Jacksonville Beach street last year in what authorities described as a targeted ambush.
Mario Fernandez Saldana, the husband of Bridegan’s ex-wife, was arrested Thursday in central Florida without incident, authorities announced at a press conference. He has since been indicted by a grand jury on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, a capital felony.
State Attorney Melissa Nelson declined to reveal the motive behind Fernandez Saldana’s alleged involvement, saying she was limited in what she could share due to the ongoing investigation. She did confirm that he was the former landlord of Henry Tenon, the man arrested in January for allegedly pulling the trigger.
At the time of Tenon’s arrest, Nelson said they knew that he “did not act alone.”
Nelson said that relationship was the “single link” tying Tenon to Bridegan.
Fernandez Saldana was also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony and child abuse. He will be extradited to Duval County.
According to an arrest warrant made public Thursday, Fernandez Saldana wrote three checks to Tenon. The warrant, which was heavily redacted, did not specify how much the checks were worth or what they were for. Authorities discovered them when reviewing Tenon’s financial records last fall.
Phone records also showed that Tenon and Fernandez Saldana had 35 “phone contacts” in February 2022, the month Bridegan was killed, and dozens more between March and June of 2022, according to the warrant.
Tenon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a deadly weapon on Thursday and has agreed to “testify truthfully against those he worked with to murder Jared Bridegan,” Nelson said.
Authorities pledged to continue investigating the murder but did not say if there are additional suspects.
Bridegan, 33, a father of four, was driving with his then-2-year-old daughter in Jacksonville Beach on Feb. 16, 2022, when he came upon a tire “purposefully” blocking his path, Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith. When he stepped out of the car he was “gunned down in cold blood,” Smith said.
Bridegan was driving home after dropping off twins he shares with his ex-wife when he came upon the tire and was shot, Smith 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.
“We have great relief knowing that two of the people behind my husband’s murder are behind bars and are no longer a threat to our family,” Kirsten Bridegan said during Thursday’s press briefing. “We are also still angry — angry that they were walking free while we were grappling with the reality that Jared wouldn’t be here for any future memories, vacations or tender moments with our kids.”
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