Ex-wife of murdered Microsoft exec Jared Bridegan who was gunned down February in front of his toddler daughter, in affluent Florida neighborhood hires topflight attorney
The legal retainer comes as as it’s revealed that Shanna Gardner-Fernandez she ‘SPIED on him [Bridegan],’ during acrimonious divorce
Bridegan, 33, was shot dead February 16 in Jacksonville Beach, as his two-year-old daughter watched from a car seat
He was moving a tire obstructing the road in a Florida neighborhood when he was shot dead
Police believe the killing may have been targeted, and said the assailant shot Bridegan from close range, about four feet away
‘It was specific, [Bridegan] used this route all the time. Whoever [killed him] knew the route,’ Jacksonville Beach Police said at the time
His ex-wife Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, 35, has hired defense attorney Henry Coxe III, the former president of the Florida Bar who specializes in federal and state criminal matters
Coxe said he was retained by Fernandez and her husband to protect the privacy of her twins as the murder case of their biological father remains unsolved
Court records indicate Fernandez and Bridegan had been locked in a contentious court battle, since their bitter divorce six years earlier, in 2015
Bridegan had accused Fernandez have spying on him with wire taps in the children’s room and in his car
Fernandez in her counter, accused Bridegan of coaching their twins to make statements against her and keeping a breathing device away from their son when visiting her
The ex-wife of a Microsoft exec who was shot and killed in front of his two-year-old daughter has hired a criminal defense lawyer as it’s revealed she allegedly ‘spied on him’ during a bitter divorce.
Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, 35, and her new husband, Mario, have hired attorney Henry Coxe III, the former president of the Florida Bar who specializes in federal and state criminal matters, as the murder of her ex-husband, Jared Bridegan, remains unsolved.
Coxe told Fox News on Tuesday that he was retained by the Jacksonville Beach couple ‘for the purpose of seeing if steps could be taken to protect her young twins from any publicity surrounding this tragic event.
‘As for any other reason for the family to have or need counsel, whether it be myself or anyone else, there is none,’ he added.
The legal retainer appears to have been prompted by the intense scrutiny brought to bear on the marriage and post marriage relationship between the former couple after Bridegan, a father of four was gunned down on February 16, continues to to unearth details about the couple’s messy split.
Coxe said he was retained by Fernandez and her current husband Mario to protect the privacy of her the children in their blended family, twins Abby and Liam, who she shares with her ex-husband and as long as his murder remains unsolved.
Bridegan’s wife, Kirsten, has is adamant she wants to find out who killed her husband to be able to explain his death to his children. The couple have two biological daughters Brexley, two, and London, seven-months. Jared’s two-year-old daughter Brexley was in the car when he was murdered. She still asks her mother about ‘the boom’ – which is how she refers to the gunshots she heard
Friends said Bridegan and Fernandez’s relationship started out lovingly, but finances were always at play in the background.
Shana Gardner-Fernandez, who is the daughter of Sterling and Shelli Gardner, co-founders of the Utah-based Stampin’ Up! paper crafts company, allegedly wooed Bridegan in 2009 with the promise of a luxury from her parent’s $100 million business.
‘It was like she was saying, ‘Look what my lifestyle is like, I can fly you all over, my parents pay for everything,’ the friend said.
By 2015, the couple had moved to Bridegan’s native Jacksonville Beach with their twins, Abby and Liam, to accommodate Liam’s heart condition that required him to live at sea level.
That’s when the marriage broke apart and Fernandez filed for a divorce. In the court docs, she’s claiming their marriage was ‘irretrievably broken.’
During the proceedings, Fernandez demanded exclusive occupancy of the families home and custody of the twins. She accused her estranged husband of threatening to convert funds from their children’s trust funds for his own use.
Countering Bridegan testified that he deserved custody, alimony and child support support payments and ownership of the home, because his soon to be ex she had the means to live elsewhere.
He also accused her of spying on him by hiding baby monitors in the twin’s bedroom, one under Abby’s dresser and another under Liam’s bed, as well as attaching a tracking device to his car.
‘This is enough!!! I should have every damn right on my own property to not constantly be under recording or monitoring by Shanna,’ he wrote to his divorce lawyer on May 17, 2015.
‘I want the flipping gates of Hell released on her for this.’
Bridegan alleged that Fernandez had cancelled an important heart surgery appointment for their son in June 2015, the final straw for the dad who had once tried to preserve his marriage.
Although their agreed to share custody in 2015, the couple continue to fight in court for six years, during which both of them got hitched to other people.
Bridegan went on to wed again. The now single Florida dad and Kirsten met on a dating app in 2017, when she was living in North Carolina. They got married as he continued legal battles with his first wife Shana Gardner-Fernandez.
Bridegan and Kristen went on to have two children, while Fernandez married Mario Fernandez a year later..
During the on-going legal battle, Fernandez filed her own set of accusations against Bridegan, claiming in 2019 that he was coaching their children to make statements against her and recording the testimonials for court, Fox reported.
She demanded a social investigation to the matter, which was denied, and then in June 2021, she filed another motion accusing her ex-husband of not letting her borrow a breathing machine for their son.
‘The father apparently considers his vindictiveness toward the mother more important than protecting his son’s health and life,’ her attorney wrote in the filing.
The court awarded Fernandez $571 and exclusive ownership of the breathing device for her son four month before Bridegan would be murdered.
Bridegan had just dropped the twins back at his ex-wife’s house on February 16 at around 7.30pm and was taking his regular route home when he stopped to move a tire placed in the road – a trap, police think, set to lure him out of his vehicle.
He was shot multiple times at close range next to the driver’s door of his Volkswagen Atlas. Bridegan’s two-year-old daughter, Bexley, was in the car, strapped in her child-seat.
The brutal crime sent shockwaves through the quiet Florida beach town with Bridegan’s friends and family expressing profound shock that anyone should have targeted the man whom, they say, had no enemies.
The devout Mormon tech executive was, according to his grieving widow, a devoted and wonderful father to twins Liam and Abbie, daughter Bexley and their youngest daughter London, just seven months old.
Even the shared grief of death does not appear to have created a détente between the warring sides. Fernandez and the twins did not attend Bridegan’s funeral hosted by Kirsten and the victim’s family. Instead they held a separate memorial service some weeks later. In now deleted blog posts Bridegan’s former mother-in-law, Shelli, 60, initially claimed that Fernandez ‘and everybody who knows her’ was ‘uninvited’ from the funeral, adding that, ‘ Shanna and the twins planned their own celebration of life.’
When comments were posted taking issue with this statement Gardner posted once more, writing, ‘As everyone knows there are multiple sides to every story and I’ve chosen not to share our side, for the sake of everyone involved, especially our children.
‘I would like to clarify a couple of points. Yes, Kirsten offered to arrange to pick up Liam and Abby prior to the memorial service and then bring them back…but since not one person from Jared’s family, including his parents, had reached out to Liam and Abby, the twins didn’t want to be without their mom.’