The husband of Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife, who is accused in Bridegan’s murder, will appear in court on Thursday.
Mario Fernandez Saldana was transported to Jacksonville on Wednesday afternoon, the State Attorney’s Office.
Fernandez Saldana will make his first Duval County court appearance Thursday morning at 9 a.m.
Bridegan was gunned down Feb. 16, 2022, in Jacksonville Beach after taking his twins he shared with ex-wife Shanna Gardner Fernandez, and his then-2-year-old Bexley, his daughter with wife Kirsten Bridegan, to dinner. The software engineer had just dropped off the twins at Gardner-Fernandez’s house when he encountered a tire in Sanctuary Boulevard, a one-way road.
Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said the “the tire was purposely placed there to make him stop which he did.”
“Tragically he began to exit his vehicle to move the tire and he was gunned down in cold blood,” Smith said.
Bridegan was shot several times while Bexley was still strapped into a car seat in the back seat of his car.
Fernandez Saldana was arrested Thursday, March 16 by ATF agents in Kissimmee. The operation was conducted by the Jacksonville Beach Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
State Attorney Melissa Nelson said a Fourth Circuit Grand Jury returned the following indictments against Fernandez Saldana:
- First-degree murder: Punishable by death or mandatory sentence of life in prison
- Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder: Punishable by up to 30 years in prison
- Solicitation to commit a capital felony: Punishable by up to 30 years in prison
- Child abuse: This charge stems from the fact that Bridegan’s then-2-year-old daughter Bexley was directly in harm’s way during the shooting, Nelson said
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In January, authorities announced the first arrest in connection to Bridegan’s murder, 61-year-old Henry Tenon.
Tenon, who rented a home from Fernandez Saldana, agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder.
That means he faces 15 years to life in prison, but not the death penalty.