Ex-Wife’s Husband Arrested In Microsoft Executive Jared Bridegan’s Targeted 2022 Killing
A second suspect was arrested in the murder of a Florida Microsoft executive who was fatally shot in the street more than a year ago.
Mario Fernandez-Saldana, 35, the husband of victim Jared Bridegan's ex-wife, was taken into police custody on Thursday, the Jacksonville Beach Police Department announced. He was arrested in Central Florida.
Fernandez-Saldana was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony, and child abuse in connection with Bridegan’s slaying, per the case's indictment.
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Fernandez-Saldana arrest comes nearly two months after 61-year-old Henry Tenon, an ex-tenant of Fernandez, was also arrested in Bridegan’s murder. He was charged with with conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree murder with a weapon and accessory after the fact to a capital felony and child abuse.
Photo: Jacksonville Beach Police Department
Tenon, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday, is expected to testify against Fernandez-Saldana on behalf of the state.
"Our investigation has revealed a single link between Jared Bridegan and Henry Tenon," State Attorney Melissa Nelson said at a news conference on Thursday. "That is Mario Fernandez-Saldana."
Fernandez-Saldana’s wife and Bridegan's ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, hasn’t been charged in the case.
On Feb. 16, 2022 Jared Bridegan was traveling to his Nocatee home when he stopped on the road after observing a tire lying in the road. He was shot and killed after exiting his vehicle to investigate, police said.
Authorities found Bridegan lying dead in the street around 8 p.m., according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. He’d been shot multiple times. Bridegan’s 2-year-old daughter, who was riding with him in a carseat in the rear of the vehicle, witnessed the murder, but was physically unharmed.
Investigators described Bridegan’s killing as a “planned and targeted ambush and murder.”
“We are now 13 months since Jared’s murder. And we have not stopped working,” Jacksonville Beach Police Department Chief Gene Paul Smith said following Fernandez-Saldana’s arrest.
Bridegan’s wife, Kirsten Bridegan, 30, also addressed reporters on Thursday.
"We are here today feeling many emotions," Kirsten said in part. "We have great relief knowing that two of the people behind my husband's murder are now behind bars and are no longer a threat to our family. 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."
No other information was released by officials regarding the open murder case. It’s unclear if Fernandez-Saldana has retained a lawyer to comment on his behalf.