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Fighting her return back to Florida, Bridegan’s ex-wife appeared in Washington court

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — One day after she was arrested in the murder-for-hire plot to kill her ex-husband in February 2022, Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife appeared in court in Washington state Friday afternoon.

Today, we learned she is fighting her return back to Florida.

She appeared in court today more than an hour after her scheduled time at 4:15 p.m Eastern time. She is being held without bond. Since she did not waive her extradition, she is delaying her return to Florida. Now, there will be a separate hearing to hash out her return here. The review hearing is set for September 14th at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time, so that’s 11:30 a.m. Eastern time.

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“From a technical federal standpoint, she is an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution,” law and safety expert Dale Carson said.

Carson has decades of experience as an FBI agent. After Shanna Gardner’s initial appearance, he says the next step involves getting her extradited to Florida.

“The federal government and the state of Florida have to prove that that’s the woman connected with the indictment.”

State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced Thursday that Shanna Gardner, who also goes by Gardner-Fernandez, is facing charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit murder and child abuse.

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Gardner’s indictment shows that she had been conspiring to commit Bridegan’s murder as far back as May 2015.

She was arrested by ATF agents in West Richland, Washington, Thursday. Online jail records showed that she was being held by the Benton County Corrections Department in Washington. Per Washington state records, Gardner’s mugshot will not be released.

Nelson said her office will file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Gardner.

Bridegan was gunned down on February 16, 2022, in Jacksonville Beach after taking his twins he shared with Gardner, and his then-2-year-old Bexley, his daughter with second wife Kirsten Bridegan, to dinner.

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The software engineer had just dropped off the twins at Gardner’s house when he encountered a tire on Sanctuary Boulevard, a one-way road. He was headed home to Kirsten Bridegan, with whom he shared children Bexley and London.

Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said during the announcement of the first arrest in January, that “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 at that time.

Bridegan was shot several times while Bexley was still strapped into a car seat in the back seat of his car.

Related Read: Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife to appear in Washington court, 1 day after being charged in his murder

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