‘No one should underestimate Jose Baez;’ high-profile attorney representing Bridegan ex-wife

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Jose Baez became a household name during his representation of Casey Anthony in 2011. The 22-year-old, at the time, was acquitted of her three-year-old toddler’s death.

The nationally televised case drew in Americans who watched Baez for successfully defend Anthony for six weeks.

Former Chief Judge for the 9th Judicial Circuit, Belvin Perry, presided over the Anthony Case. He saw Baez’s tactics first hand.

“What I learned during that trial, even though he was a neophyte at that time, I learned that, one, he was a great strategist,” Perry said. “Two, he knew how to deal and appeal to jurors. Three, he was well prepared.”


Perry said many people underestimated Baez’s ability. This was his first big case. Casey Anthony’s trial case put him in the spotlight, and his passion and courtroom dramatics drew in jurors.

“Mr. Baez poked holes in the case, but he had the unique ability to make that relate to jurors to create that thing called reasonable doubt, which is the bread and butter of any great defense attorney,” Perry said. “Mr. Baez, whether people want to admit it or not, is a very excellent attorney. He’s gonna be in 210% with whoever he defends.”

Baez went on to defend Aaron Hernandez, the former University of Florida football star who stood trial for a double murder. In 2019, Baez briefly represented major Hollywood film producer, Harvey Weinstein. The movie mogul was convicted of rape.

Now, Baez has been retained to represent Shanna Gardner. The former Jacksonville Beach resident is accused in the murder for hire plot of Jared-Bridegan, her ex-husband.

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In an Action News Jax exclusive interview from the summer of 2022, Gardner said she had nothing to do with Bridegan’s murder. She was arrested and charged for with first degree murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony, and conspiracy to commit murder, in August. Additionally, she was charged with child abuse, because Bridegan’s two-year-old daughter, Bexley, was a witness to his murder.

Gardner’s first court appearance will be Friday at he Duval County Courthouse at 9 A.M.

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