Tenon pleads guilty, second suspect arrested for murder of Jared Bridegan

Posted at 1:03 PM, March 16, 2023 and last updated 8:57 AM, March 17, 2023


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Court TV) — Investigators in Florida announced a second arrest in the murder of Jared Bridegan, a father who was killed in front of his young daughter in 2022.

The Jacksonville Beach Police Department announced the arrest of Mario Fernandez-Saldana in a news conference Thursday. Saldana is married to Bridegan’s ex-wife.

Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced Henry Tenon, who had previously been charged with murder in the case, had pleaded guilty that morning and agreed to testify against Fernandez-Saldana.


Jared Bridegan, 33, was killed on Feb. 16, 2022. According to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, Bridegan had gone out for a “date night” with his twin 9-year-olds and his 2-year-old daughter from another relationship. After dropping the twins off at their mother’s home, Bridegan was driving home with his 2-year-old when he came across a tire in the road.

Police said in a Jan. 25 news conference that the tire had specifically been placed in the road with the intention of stopping Bridegan. Bridegan put on his hazard lights, put his car in park and got out to remove the tire. When he got out of the car, Bridegan was “gunned down in cold blood,” police said.

Mario Fernandez

Mario Fernandez is accused in the murder of Jared Bridegan (Orange County Jail)

Tenon was arrested in January and charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy after the fact and child abuse. In a news conference announcing the charges, Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith described the crime as a “planned and targeted ambush and murder.”

State’s Attorney Melissa Nelson said in January when the charges were announced against Tenon that he had not acted alone, and said the arrest warrants and court documents related to the case would be sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Kristen Bridegan, Jared’s widow, spoke at Thursday’s news conference.

“We are here today feeling many emotions. We have great relief knowing that two of the people behind my husband’s murder are now behind bars and are no longer a threat to our family. … 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.”