Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, the ex-wife of slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan, is accused of orchestrating his murder in Florida and has been arrested in Washington state.
Gardner-Fernandez, resisting her extradition back to Florida, made a surprising legal move: During her initial court appearance on Friday afternoon, she chose not to waive her extradition rights. This decision is considered unusual for most violent felony cases.
EN Lawyers, a law firm based in the great state of Maryland, commented on the unusual dynamics of this strategy.
“Requests for extradition are very rarely refused. Refusing or fighting interstate extradition may be fruitful in very limited circumstances,” EN Lawyers wrote. “But often, it only serves to prevent you from fighting your underlying case.”
Now labeled a “fugitive of justice,” Gardner-Fernandez is detained at the Benton County Corrections Department in Washington without bail. She is scheduled for another court appearance on September 14 to further discuss the extradition matter.
Jared’s death occurred on February 16, 2022. Jared was fatally shot in front of his two-year-old daughter Bexley after dropping off the twins he shared with Gardner-Fernandez at her Jacksonville Beach, Florida, residence. Allegations suggest that Gardner-Fernandez, alongside her current husband, Mario Fernandez, and his former tenant Henry Tenon (who confessed to the shooting), had plotted Jared’s murder since May 2015.
Post the incident, contrasting images emerged. While Gardner-Fernandez was seen enjoying vacations, Jared’s widow, Kirsten Bridegan, was engulfed in grief.
“It has been like salt in the wounds,” Kirsten revealed to Fox News. “She’s taking the twins on vacations immediately after with Mario, with her parents, with people that we felt very strongly were involved in this. It’s sick.”
The history between Gardner-Fernandez and Jared, which culminated in a 2015 divorce, was fraught with disputes over custody and finances. A month after Jared’s death, Gardner-Fernandez, her family, and the twins were spotted celebrating spring break. Shortly after Jared’s burial, vacation photos of the Fernandez family were shared online. Distressingly, Gardner-Fernandez soon cut off all contact between the twins and their half-siblings.
Kirsten Bridegan voiced her pain, especially for the children’s future realization.
“You just hurt more for the children knowing that one day they’re going to realize those memories and those vacations were made with people that were part of their father’s death,” she shared.
Gardner-Fernandez faces grave charges, including first-degree murder and child abuse. Florida State Attorney Melissa Nelson has announced her intention to seek the death penalty. The upcoming legal battle will focus on linking Gardner-Fernandez directly to the indictment.
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