Ex-Wife Allegedly Hired Hit Man to Kill Husband, Witness Says

Good luck! Wrote Mario Fernandez, the spouse of Shanna Gardner, the late Microsoft manager Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife, on a check made out to the hitman they supposedly hired to kill Bridegan in 2022.

Several witnesses testified during last Wednesday’s hearing in a Duval County, Florida courtroom regarding the possibility of bond for the mother of two, Ashley Gardner, who is facing charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy for the commission of first-degree murder, solicitation to engage in a capital felony, and child endangerment.

Her second husband, Fernandez Saldana, and Gardner reportedly paid Henry Tenon, who had been a tenant of Fernandez Saldana’s, $150,000 to commit the murder.

According to Detective Chris Johns of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, a $5,000 check was sent to Tenon on April 4, 2022, by First Choice Home Rentals, an LLC owned by Gardner and Saldana. The note said, ‘Good luck!’ And ‘Kickstarter.’

Johns, the primary investigator appointed to the Bridegan assassination investigation, testified last Tuesday that, according to Tenon, it was the initial of several payments that were meant to be investments in his pallet business but were actually payments for the murder.

On February 16, 2022, near Jacksonville Beach, Bridegan was shot down in front of his vehicle after moving a tire on a road. His two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was in the car.

As traffic stalled, good Samaritans later approached Bridegan’s car and removed the girl.

According to the detective’s testimony, the little girl subsequently recounted feeling unwell after her father was shot. She described hearing two loud noises.

Det. Johns asked Gardner if she had any theories about what might have happened to her ex-husband. Gardner reportedly informed authorities that she believed the area was a drug dealer’s hangout in Jacksonville, suggesting that the shooting may have been a gang initiation or a botched drug sale.

But Johns said the ‘hangout’ theory wasn’t true.  He noted that Gardner and Saldana supposedly spent years plotting and imagining ways for Saldana to assassinate Bridegan.  The couple’s plot to murder Bridegan originated when Gardner became enraged about a custody dispute between Bridegan and their two children.

Fernandez-Saldana and Gardner have entered not-guilty pleas in relation to the murder of Bridegan. Pledging to testify against the other suspects, Henry Tenon admitted to the murder.