Admitted gunman in Jared Bridegan murder-for-hire plot makes brief appearance in court
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Henry Tenon, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the conspiracy to kill Jared Bridegan, made a brief appearance in court Monday for a pretrial hearing.

The judge passed his case until Feb. 5 for the next status hearing.

Tenon, 62, has agreed to testify against others involved in the murder-for-hire case, including Bridegan’s ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, and her estranged husband Mario Fernandez.

Tenon once rented a home from Fernandez and investigators said bank records showed three handwritten checks that Fernandez wrote to Tenon. The amount of the checks was redacted from Fernandez’s arrest warrant.

RELATED: ‘It ain’t looking good’: New evidence shows arrest, calls, interview of triggerman in Jared Bridegan murder | Man charged in connection to Jared Bridegan’s death faces at least 15 years: plea deal shows

Investigators said when Tenon was arrested on an unrelated felony driving charge in August 2022, they questioned him about Bridegan’s murder and a Ford F-150 truck they had been searching for since the shooting. Tenon was then charged in January for Bridegan’s murder.

The plea agreement signed by Tenon shows he faces at least 15 years in prison. The sentencing judge will give weight to Tenon’s life expectancy and his “early and continuing cooperation in the prosecution of co-defendants.” Bridegan’s family will have input on Tenon’s sentence.

Bridegan, a father of four, was shot multiple times at close range in February 2022 after dropping his older two children off at Gardner’s house. Police said he was ambushed in Jacksonville Beach with his toddler daughter in the backseat of his SUV after Tenon left a tire blocking the road.

Jared Bridegan

Gardner and Fernandez are each facing charges of first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and child abuse in connection with Bridegan’s death.

RELATED: How investigators say they untangled conspiracy to kill Jared Bridegan

Gardner and Fernandez both face the death penalty if they’re convicted.

Although they are being tried together, Gardner and Fernandez have separate attorneys. Gardner is represented by high-profile defense attorney Jose Baez, who has requested a mountain load of discovery from prosecutors.

RELATED: Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife Shanna Gardner hires Casey Anthony’s lawyer in murder-for-hire case |

Mario Fernandez (left) and Shanna Gardner-Fernandez (right) (Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.)

Citing a “breach of confidentiality,” Fernandez’s attorneys recently asked for State Attorney Melissa Nelson’s office to be disqualified from trying the case altogether.

In that 63-page filing, Fernandez’s attorneys say prosecutors are using privileged and private communications, including text messages and emails, as evidence.

Prosecutors filed a 13-page response, saying the defense motion was improper and lacked lawful grounds. They said a simple oversight by a third party was to blame.

“The oversight, which involved uploading a few emails and one text between the Defendant and his attorney(s), was an unintentional act by the third-party vendor,” the state’s response said.

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