In a recently filed document, prosecutors suggest the man charged in a Microsoft executive’s ambush murder plotted the act with other people for more than a month. Not only that, but defendant Henry Arthur Tenon, 61, allegedly helped people flee responsibility for the mysterious killing into the following summer.
Authorities did not release an affidavit when arresting Tenon last month, saying a judge sealed it. But they maintain Tenon was not the only person involved in murdering Jared Bridegan, 33.
“We know Henry Tenon did not act alone,” State Attorney Melissa Nelson of Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit said in a press conference Jan. 26.
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The 61-year-old is charged with murder in the second degree with a weapon, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, accessory after the fact to a capital felony, and child abuse. Nelson said her office is seeking an indictment for murder in the first degree.
In discussing the conspiracy charge on Wednesday, prosecutors wrote that Tenon “on or between January 4, 2022 and February 16, 2022, in the County of Duval and the State of Florida, did agree, conspire, combine or confederate with other human beings to, unlawfully and from a premeditated design, effect the death of Jared Bridegan.”
It was on Feb. 16, 2022 that Bridegan went out to dinner with his twin children and their two-year-old half-sister, police said. He dropped the older kids off at his ex-wife Shanna Gardner-Fernandez ‘s home. The murder soon occurred on a dark stretch of Sanctuary Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Police believe Bridegan came across a tire blocking the road. He stopped and opened the door to his SUV, presumably to move the object, Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith said at the press conference.
“It was then that he was gunned down in cold blood,” the chief said.
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Tenon is charged with child abuse because even if Bridegan’s daughter was unharmed in her car seat, the shooting exposed her to danger, authorities said.
Police claim this was a planned and targeted ambush. Nothing was stolen.
Between Feb. 16 and Aug. 19, Tenon “did maintain, assist or give aid to other human beings, knowing that other human beings had committed a capital felony, to-wit: Murder in the First Degree,” prosecutors wrote regarding the accessory charge. They claim he helped these people avoid responsibility for Bridegan’s death.
Investigators have yet to name any more suspects.
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Jared Bridegan’s death was a mystery from the beginning.
Smith noted that Jared’s widow Kristen Bridegan and his brother Adam Bridegan were there for the press conference.
“This was such a heinous crime,” Adam told WJXT in an Aug. 16 report. “I mean, the amount of times he was shot, just to ensure that he was dead, that he wasn’t going to be able to recover, and all of us in our family are just devastated.”
“Sometimes I feel like we are just a spectacle,” Kirsten said. “People don’t realize that this is our reality every single day. We wake up every day and Jared is still not here. His car is not pulling in the driveway. This is real. Myself, four children and an enormous amount of friends and family are all suffering every single day because of this. This is real.”
Amid the initial investigation, Gardner-Fernandez denied wrongdoing. She refused to speak about their contentious divorce in detail, according to The Florida Times-Union in a June 30 report. Documents reportedly said she had accused Bridegan of “disturbing and abusive behavior,” while he claimed she locked him out of the master bedroom and installed surveillance devices in both his car and the children’s bedroom.
“I don’t see any good in airing our dirty laundry,” she told the outlet.
Tenon remains held without bond at the Duval County Jail, records show.
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