Watch live: Shanna Gardner, Mario Fernandez-Saldana appear in court for pre-trial hearing

Video feed courtesy First Coast News

Estranged couple Shanna Gardner and Mario Fernandez Saldana, who each face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Gardner's ex-husband, Jared Bridegan, are set to appear in Duval County Court Friday morning.

Shanna Lee Gardner, one of three defendants in the plot to rid herself of ex-husband Jared Bridegan, entered a not-guilty plea Nov. 3 in her role in his Feb. 16, 2022, ambush attack after leaving her home in Jacksonville Beach.

Gardner, 36, was returned to Jacksonville in October from Benton County, Wash., where she had moved and was arrested on Aug. 17 on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony and child abuse.

Gardner had been widely speculated to be involved in Bridegan's shooting death but was the last to be arrested after leaving the state with her and Bridegan's twin son and daughter and without current husband Mario Fernandez Saldana.

Bridegan, 33, was gunned down not far from Gardner and Fernandez Saldana's home after stopping his car to move a tire from the middle of the road. He had just dropped off the twins to Gardner and was on his way home to St. Augustine with his 2-year-old daughter when he was ambushed. The child was unharmed, and Jacksonville Beach police were immediately suspicious because nothing appeared to have been stolen and theorized that the tire was purposefully placed there to get Bridegan to stop.

Henry Arthur Tenon, a 62-year-old former tenant of Fernandez Saldana, was the first suspect to be arrested on Jan. 25. On March 16 he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, stating he was the triggerman and agreeing to testify against the others, State Attorney Melissa Nelson previously said.

It was the same day 35-year-old Fernandez Saldana was arrested in Orlando on the same charges as his wife. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both Gardner and Fernandez Saldana.

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An arrest warrant states "the investigation into Bridegan’s background revealed a highly acrimonious divorce from his ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, and a contentious relationship with both Gardner and Fernandez Saldana." The documents include evidence of payments made to Tenon by Fernandez Saldana and cellphone communication between the two.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Shanna Gardner, Mario Fernandez-Saldana appear in court