Police reported that Jared Bridegan was driving with his 2-year-old daughter when he encountered a tire in the road. “Bridegan, 33, a Microsoft senior design manager, stopped the car and got out to move the obstruction,” police stated. Unfortunately, he was “fatally gunned down in February 2022.”
“Planned and targeted ambush and murder.” stated police.
The husband of Bridegan’s ex-wife was arrested and indicted by authorities for what they referred to as a “planned and targeted ambush and murder,” according to reports.
Mario Fernandez-Saldana, who could face the death penalty, was arrested in Orlando and will be returned to Jacksonville, according to sources. It remains unclear as of Friday morning whether he has secured legal representation.
The Duval County grand jury indicted Fernandez-Saldana on Thursday for first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation to commit a capital felony, and child abuse charges relating to the February 2022 homicide.
Prosecutors allege that Fernandez-Saldana, 34, “was integral to the solicitation, conspiracy, and murder of Bridegan.” At a press conference on Thursday, State Attorney Melissa Nelson said that they were led to him by another suspect in the case, whom Fernandez-Saldana allegedly solicited to commit the crime and who confessed to pulling the trigger. The man had recently pleaded guilty to his involvement in Bridegan’s death.
Kirsten Bridegan, the widow of the victim, spoke at the same press conference on Thursday after Fernandez-Saldana’s arrest. “We have fought hard for the truth, and the world now knows what we have known all along, that Jared truly was an innocent victim,” she said. “We’re also still angry – angry that they were walking free while we were grappling with the reality that Jared wouldn’t be here for any future memories, vacations, or tender moments with our kids.”
According to the affidavit, Bridegan had dropped off his twins at their mother’s home and was driving with his 2-year-old daughter to his own home when he encountered the tire. Police believe the tire was intentionally placed there to force him to stop.
When Bridegan got out of the car to move the obstruction, he was “gunned down in cold blood,” said Sheriff Mike Williams. The 2-year-old remained in her car seat unharmed, and nothing was taken from the vehicle.
“This was a planned and targeted ambush and murder,” Williams announced after the first arrest in the case in January.
Henry Tenon, 62, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree murder with a weapon, accessory after the fact of a capital felony, and child abuse, according to State Attorney Melissa Nelson. Jail records show that Tenon had been in the custody of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office since August 2022 on unrelated charges.
Tenon pled guilty to second-degree murder with a weapon and agreed to “testify truthfully against any accomplice” just before Fernandez-Saldana’s arrest, according to the state attorney’s office.
The affidavit states that Tenon was a tenant in a residence owned by Fernandez-Saldana. In October 2022, investigators discovered three checks that Fernandez-Saldana had written to Tenon. The men had made over 60 phone calls to one another, according to phone records.
Authorities did not provide a possible motive, but the affidavit claims that Bridegan had a “highly acrimonious divorce” and a “contentious relationship” with his ex-wife and her current husband.
Tenon’s lawyer declined to comment on the matter.