By BETH HEMPHILL, LAUREN SILVER
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. (Court TV) — The highly anticipated extradition hearing for the ex-wife of slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan is set to take place after two governors signed extradition warrants.
Shanna Gardner ,who had been residing in Washington, is facing charges of First-Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Solicitation to Commit a Capital Felony, and Child Abuse related to Bridegan’s 2022 murder in Florida. Bridegan was gunned down in front of his young daughter while driving in Jacksonville Beach.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis first signed Gardner’s extradition warrant on Sept. 13, prompting the judge in Washington to continue Shanna’s hearing until Oct. 5 to allow time for the state to receive it. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a warrant to extradite Gardner on Oct. 3.
A judge continued Gardner’s extradition hearing on Oct. 5, saying that she had not received copies of the extradition warrants. Gardner attended the hearing via video from the jail, and only spoke to say, “Yes ma’am,” when the judge asked her if she could hear.
The judge set the next extradition hearing for Oct. 19, giving her time to receive the warrants and for the defense to file a writ of habeas corpus if they choose.
The State’s Attorney Office in Florida has said there is no timetable for when the extradition will take place, or when Gardner will physically arrive in Florida. When she does arrive, she’s expected to appear in front of a judge.
Florida State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced Shanna Gardner-Fernandez’s indictment on conspiracy charges in August. She was arrested at her home in Washington State, where she’s currently being held and awaiting extradition.
Prosecutors say that Shanna worked with her current husband, Mario Fernandez-Saldana and a third man, Henry Tenon, to kill her ex, with whom she had an ongoing custody dispute for their two shared children. The child who was in the car at the time of the murder was Jared’s daughter with his second wife, Kristen Bridegan.
Henry Tenon has pleaded guilty in the case, admitting to investigators that he pulled the trigger, and has agreed to testify against Mario.
Because Shanna remains in Washington, her husband’s case in Florida remains in limbo. At a hearing on September 12, Judge London Kite said that she cannot move the case forward until both co-defendants are in the jurisdiction. Kite set a tentative date of Oct. 2 for the next pre-trial hearing in the case, but said that date would be adjusted if Shanna has not yet been extradited.
Jared’s brother, Adam, spoke to Court TV’s Matt Johnson after Shanna’s arrest. Adam said that while the extradition process is slow, he’s looking forward to the trial.
“I think we feel peace that justice is being served, even though it’s slow. … We look forward to the trial and it will be very painful to relive and to be exposed to see that there are things that we don’t even know, but I think for Jared’s story, it will be important for the public to understand the details, to understand what really took place.”
Prosecutors have previously said they will seek the death penalty in the case against Shanna’s current husband Mario.