A Jacksonville Beach woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill her ex-husband is on her way back to Florida from Washington state.
Benton County jail records in Washington show Shanna Gardner, 36, was removed from their facility at 6:30 a.m. ET Friday.
That means Gardner is headed back to Duval County, where she’s charged with first-degree murder in the ambush shooting death of her ex-husband, 33-year-old Jared Bridegan.
After fighting her extradition from Washington to Florida since her arrest in August, Gardner ultimately waived extradition Thursday.
After Gadner’s public defender announced he would not contest an extradition warrant from the governor of Washington, the judge asked Gardner if she had any questions, and she said, “I do not, your honor, thank you.”
Prosecutors are not disclosing details about how they’re getting her back across the country for security reasons but said they will send an update when she’s in Jacksonville and set for her first appearance in Duval County.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also signed a warrant for Gardner to be extradited to Duval County.
Gardner moved to her parents’ property in West Richland, Washington, with the two children she shared with ex-husband Jared Bridegan months after the murder.
Prosecutors say Gardner played a “key and central role” in the conspiracy to kill Bridegan, who was shot several times at close range on a dark, wooded stretch of road around 8 p.m. Feb. 16, 2022. His then-2-year-old-year-old daughter was in the backseat of his SUV near the Sanctuary neighborhood in south Jacksonville Beach. The toddler was not injured, but her presence prompted felony child abuse charges against the suspects.
Gardner is charged with first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and child abuse.
Her 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.
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.
Henry Tenon, who was a tenant at Fernandez’s property, confessed to being the gunman. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for fatally shooting Bridegan and has agreed to testify against the couple.
Investigators say phone records revealed more than 70 calls between the men before and after Bridegan’s murder.
“Henry Tenon did not act alone. Mario Fernandez did not plan alone. And Shanna Gardner’s indictment acknowledges her central and key role in the cold, calculated and premeditated murder of Jared Bridegan,” State Attorney Melissa Nelson said when she announced Gardner’s arrest.
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 two miles from Gardner’s home. Police said it was a targeted, cold-blooded attack.
Bridegan’s loved ones declined to comment on the ongoing case after Gardner’s extradition was announced.