With signed extradition warrants against her from the governors of Florida and Washington, Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife is expected back in Washington state court Thursday for another extradition hearing.
Shanna Gardner, 36, who is accused of orchestrating the death of her ex-husband in a murder-for-hire plot, has been fighting her extradition to Florida to face murder and other charges in Bridegan’s February 2022 ambush killing.
Gardner moved to Washington state with the two children she shared with Bridegan shortly after the 33-year-old was fatally shot.
The extradition warrant signed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is dated Sept. 26. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also signed a warrant for Gardner, and both warrants essentially clear the way for an extradition to happen.
Gardner is charged with first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and child abuse.
Her current husband, 34-year-old Mario Fernandez, who was arrested in March, is facing the same charges. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty for both if they are convicted.
Prosecutors say Gardner played a “key and central” role in the murder-for-hire scheme to kill Bridegan, who was shot several times at close range near the Sanctuary neighborhood in south Jacksonville Beach with his then-2-year-old-year-old daughter in the backseat of his SUV. The toddler was not injured, but her presence prompted the felony child abuse charges.
Since her arrest at her family’s home in Washinton in August, Gardner has remained locked up in the Benton County jail.
Prosecutors say phone and bank records show Fernandez hired his former tenant, Henry Tenon, to ambush and kill Bridegan. Tenon has admitted to pulling the trigger and agreed to testify against the couple.
Until Gardner is extradited to Florida, the murder case against Fernandez is at a legal standstill.
Fernandez’s indictment said he plotted the murder within the four months leading to Bridegan’s death, but Gardner’s indictment said she may have been scheming to kill Bridegan as early as May 2015, a few months before their divorce was finalized.
According to his indictment, Fernandez wrote three checks to Tenon, and investigators say phone records revealed more than 70 calls between the men before and after Bridegan’s murder.
The murder received national attention in 2022 when Bridegan was gunned down while trying to move a tire blocking the road on his way home from his ex-wife’s house after dropping off their twins. The shooting took place 2 miles from Gardner’s home. Police said it was a targeted, cold-blooded attack.
Gardner’s extradition hearing is at 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday. News4JAX will monitor the developments and provide updates.