The woman accused of orchestrating the murder of her Microsoft executive ex-husband and fleeing to the other side of the country with their children will finally be dragged back to the Sunshine State in handcuffs, officials said.
Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, 35, was arrested Aug. 16 in West Richland, Washington, more than 18 months after Jared Bridegan, 33, was shot to death in front of his toddler daughter in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
At her first court appearance in Washington, she made the surprise and unusual move to fight extradition triggering extra paperwork and a monthslong delay.
Washington Gov. Jay Islee just signed off on her extradition after receiving a warrant from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last month, the Jacksonville State Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
Criminal defense lawyer David Robbins said that Gardner-Fernandez may have fought extradition to remain in the cushy Benton County jail for as long as possible.
Once in Jacksonville, she will be housed at the overcrowded and run-down Duval County Jail.
“This year, 11 prisoners have died,” Robbins said. “I can’t think of a single reason why she’d want to be in Jacksonville in a hurry.”
The 11-year-old twins she shares with Bridegan are still in school in Washington, and she may have wanted to remain close to them, he added.
Gardner-Fernandez is indicted on first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and child endangerment counts, for which she could face the death penalty.
She is the third person arrested in the case. Her husband, Mario Fernandez, and admitted triggerman, Henry Tenon, 61, were collared months ago. Tenon, a former tenant of Fernandez, is cooperating with prosecutors.
The trio is accused of conspiring to gun down Bridegan Feb. 16, 2022, on a desolate road after he dropped off the twins he shares with Gardner-Fernandez at her house. The pair had been embroiled in a toxic battle over custody and finances since their 2015 divorce.
Bridegan’s daughter, Bexley, whom he shares with his second wife Kirsten Bridegan, was in the car when he as shot to death. Kirsten was at home with their then-infant, London.