Slain Microsoft exec, suspects got into heated argument at Mormon church over kids' hair, records show

 Slain Microsoft executive Jared Bridigan allegedly argued with his ex-wife and her second husband - who is accused of plotting to murder him in February 2022 - The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints, a witness told police In cents. ,

Brydegan was fatally shot in front of his car after a tire came out in the middle of a deserted road in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, in what prosecutors believe was foul play. At that time his 2 year old daughter was in the back seat.

The victim's ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, has been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and child endangerment in connection with his death. She and her second husband, Mario Fernandez-Saldaña, are accused of hiring a hitman to carry out the roadside murder.

Speaking to police after Bridgen's murder, a witness told police that she knew the victim through Gardner, with whom she was friends, and that she had "heard stories about the victim's behavior" from Gardner. As the police wrote in February 2022.

The details are detailed in a witness statement included in hundreds of pages of documents filed by police in Bridgen's case, which prosecutors released last week.

The witness "stated that her husband was involved in an altercation with the victim at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Neptune Beach." Her husband was a bishop of the church.

She describes Bridgen as "hot-headed" as well as "controlling and impatient." She also knew the couple was going through a "contentious" divorce and custody battle.

According to witnesses, several years before Bridgen's death, Gardner and Fernandez-Saldaña visited the bishop at the LDS Church, widely known as the Mormon Church, in Neptune Beach to get advice on proper hairstyles for their children. Can give.

Fernandez-Saldana told police in an interview that Gardner and Bridgen's children "were afraid to ask Bridgen questions for fear of rejection." One of her daughters "once asked if she could dye her hair purple," and Bridgen apparently told her daughter "that she would not be accepted into the church if she had purple hair." "

"Fernandez Saldana took the children to a bishop of the Church of Latter-day Saints, with whom they became friends," police wrote in their report.

The suspect told police Bridigan then went to the church and confronted Bishop.

Bishop, who was also interviewed, told officers that "he was finishing a counseling session with a church member when Bridigan confronted him."

Police wrote of Bishop's description, "Bridgen's children wanted to change their hairstyles and he disagreed with their choice. According to [the witness], Bridgen told his children that their choice of hairstyle was sinful." "Because of this, Shanna Gardner contacted [Bishop] so she could talk to the children. [Bishop] told the children it was 'silly' to call it sinful, but explained to the children that they needed to understand their parents' decisions. needs to be respected."

Brydegan apparently "had problems in the counseling session" and confronted Bishop. He also explained to the bishop that Gardner was no longer a member of the Latter-day Saints.

Family of slain Microsoft executive faces his ex-wife in court on suspicion of plotting his murder

The bishop "informed Bridgen that this was his congregation and Bridgen could not tell him who he was allowed to serve," at which point Bridgen apparently became agitated, and "walked out of the parking lot and fought." Wanted,” Bishop told police. , The witness said Bishop threatened to call the Neptune Police Department, at which point Bridgen left.

In another account, Bridigan's brother told police, "Gardner would probably feel like her children were being tutored" and "would tell Fernandez Saldana about the situation."

The alleged argument is one of several accounts detailing Bridgen and Gardner's strained relationship and a complicated custody battle over their three children. Bridgen has twin children with Gardner, as well as two children with his second wife of five years, Kirsten Bridgen. They divided the custody of the children 50-50.

Brydgan and Gardner met in Utah and married within two months of meeting. They moved across the country to Connecticut after the birth of their son because he had a heart condition, and they wanted to be closer to his doctor.

Once his condition stabilized, they moved to Jacksonville to be closer to Bridgen's parents. According to Bridigan's brother, less than a year after relocating, the couple divorced and Gardner left the LDS Church.

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Bridgen's family and friends painted a very different picture of the victim than the description given to police by Gardner, Fernandez-Saldaña, Bishop, and his wife. His brother described him as "a creative person who kept a close group of friends." Kirsten told police that her husband "had no beef with anyone and everyone liked him."

"She stated that the only people who had a grudge against her were Shanna [Gardner] and Mario [Fernandez-Saldaña]," police wrote.

In another interview with police, Fernandez-Saldaña told police he was "running out of money to give" and that he was "very frivolous." According to one report, she later told authorities that she and Gardner's children were living a "new normal" without Bridgen, but that the victim's wife, Kirsten, was "making it really hard". Gardner described her second husband to police as "like a pit bull."

Both Gardner and Fernandez-Saldaña have pleaded not guilty in connection with Bridgen's murder. The pair are accused of hiring Fernandez-Saldaña's former tenant, Henry Tenon, as a hitman. Tennon pleaded guilty to pulling the trigger and agreed to testify against the other suspects.

Fox News Digital has contacted Jose Baez, the attorney representing Gardner, and Jesse Dreiser, the attorney representing Fernandez-Saldana.

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