Jacksonville cops on Wednesday announced the arrest of a suspect in the cold-blooded murder of a Microsoft executive last year – but noted they don’t believe he acted alone.
Henry Tenon, 61, has been charged with second degree murder and other assaults in the February shooting death of Jared Bridegan in front of his 2-year-old daughter.
The department did not respond to questions Wednesday and declined to specify a motive or whether there was a personal connection between Tenon and Bridegan.
Although officials said Tenon did not act alone, they also declined to say whether they had any information linking him to Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, Bridegan’s ex-wife or her new husband, Mario Fernandez. who had already been named suspects in the case.
“We hope to have more answers for you, even if that’s not possible today,” Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said.
Bridegan, 33, was returning home to St. Augustine after dropping off her two children he shared with Gardner-Fernandez at his Jacksonville Beach home.
With her 2-year-old daughter Bexley sitting in the back seat, Bridegan spotted a tire in the middle of the road and pulled over to remove it.
In what cops believe was a planned ambush, a gunman shot and killed Bridegan after getting out of the SUV.
Bexley, one of two children Bridegan shared with his second wife, Kirsten Bridegan, sat in the car on the deserted street for about three minutes before a passerby saw his father lying in the road and called 911.
It later emerged that Bridegan was at war with Gardner-Fernandez over custody of their two children, and that their marriage allegedly fell apart after she had an affair.
Gardner-Fernandez and her new husband strongly denied any role in Bridegan’s murder, but notably hired prominent criminal defense attorney Henry Cox III shortly after the murder.
PKB News reported this week that Gardner-Fernandez, 35, recently moved with her two children to Richland, Washington, without her husband.
Sources told the outlet that they are now separated.
She moved into a six-bedroom home bought by her parents, Shelli and Sterling Gardner, for $1million in September, property records show.
Shelli Sterling started a lucrative paper craft business that generates up to $100 million in revenue every year, according to IncFact.
Gardner-Fernandez was once a staunch follower of her family’s Mormon faith, but dropped out of the church a few years ago, according to reports.
Although she vehemently denied any role in Bridegan’s death, Gardner-Fernandez admitted to the Florida Times-Union that she once asked a tattoo parlor employee if he knew anyone who could silence her ponderous ex-husband.
But she dismissed it as nothing more than a macabre joke, saying those in the midst of divorces often make glib statements like this.
“I feel for Jared’s family and what they’re going through. I can’t even imagine,” she told the outlet. “I tried to be respectful. I tried to give them space.
The murdered father’s new wife, Kirsten Bridegan, has doggedly pushed for an arrest in the case as she faces the prospect of raising their two children without their doting father.
While Bexley bravely went on after witnessing her father’s murder, her mother told PKB News she faced a difficult emotional road.
“It will be a lifetime for her to process those feelings and the trauma of what she’s been through,” she said.