Microsoft Executive Murder: Accused Couple Points Fingers in First Police Interviews

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A couple facing charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and child abuse in the death of Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan has accused the victim of having ulterior motives in his first marriage. Shanna Gardner and Mario Fernandez Saldana, the defendants in the case, have suggested that Bridegan’s second wife may have been the killer in interviews with police.

The incident took place on Feb. 16, 2022, when Bridegan was shot and killed after dropping his two older children off at Gardner’s home. The victim and Gardner shared custody of the two children following their tumultuous divorce, with both parties having remarried. One key detail is that Bridegan shared a young child with his second wife, Kirsten Bridegan, who was present in the car at the time of the shooting.

Court records reveal that investigative reports were obtained by Court TV, detailing interviews with witnesses who saw Bridegan’s body lying in the road and painting a picture of the events leading up to the fatal shooting. According to police, Bridegan was lured out of his car by a tire placed in the road, only to be shot and killed when he stepped out to investigate. Witnesses mentioned in the reports detailed their observations, with one witness describing seeing the victim on the ground, twitching and moving, after exiting his car.

Kirsten Bridegan, the victim’s second wife, informed officers that her husband’s relationship with Gardner ended after she had an affair with a personal trainer at a gym. She expressed her belief that the only individuals with ill will towards him were Shanna and Mario.

In a formal interview with police, Gardner revealed her suspicions about Bridegan’s motives in their previous marriage, describing their divorce as traumatic. She also expressed uncertainty about who could have been responsible for the murder, mentioning thoughts that Kirsten Bridegan might have been involved. She also discussed her relationship with Fernandez Saldana, stating that they got married quickly for convenience and not as a typical marriage.

Fernandez Saldana, in his own interview with police, declared that he had been “really out of it” after taking medication the night of the murder and expressed disregard for the family dynamic. He later contacted the police to discuss the backlash he and Gardner were experiencing, attributing it to the victim’s wife and expressing his frustration.

Investigators have linked Gardner and Fernandez Saldana to a third man, Henry Tenon, who pleaded guilty to Bridegan’s murder. Banking records show payments from a business owned by Gardner and Fernandez Saldana to Tenon. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both defendants if convicted. They are expected in court on Wednesday, Feb. 7.