The former wife of a murdered Florida man has reportedly lawyered up several months after he was shot and killed in front of his young child.
According to Fox News, 33-year-old Jared Bridegan was shot and killed on February 16, shortly after dropping his twin children off at his ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez’s, Jacksonville Beach home. Court documents indicate that Jared’s daughter, Bexley, who he shares with a second wife, was in the car with him at the time, strapped into her car seat.
Police say Jared saw a rimmed tire in the road while driving back home to St. Augustine; he stopped to check on it when an unknown assailant shot him in front of his toddler daughter before fleeing. Bexley was reportedly in the car for several minutes while her father passed away.
So far, the Jacksonville Beach Police Department hasn’t named a suspect in connection with the case and Gardner-Fernandez maintains her innocence. She reportedly secured high-powered criminal defense attorney Henry Coxe III “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.
DailyMail reports that during a custody and alimony dispute between Jared and his first wife, issues became vicious and Jared accused Gardner-Fernandez of spying on him.
“This is enough!!! I should have every damn right on my own property to not constantly be under recording or monitoring by Shanna,” Jared wrote to his divorce attorney in 2015. “I want the flipping gates of Hell released on her for this.”
The pair continued to argue throughout the tumultuous divorce proceedings, with Gardner-Fernandez reportedly accusing Jared of coaching their children to make false statements about her. When she was denied an investigation into the matter, Gardner-Fernandez allegedly filed a motion against her ex in 2021, accusing him of withholding their son’s breathing machine.
“The father apparently considers his vindictiveness toward the mother more important than protecting his son’s health and life,” her lawyer wrote in the motion filing.
After his death, Gardner-Fernandez and the twins didn’t attend his memorial services, according to DailyMail.
The story is developing. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Jared Bridegan; Shanna Gardner-Fernandez/Facebook]