JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The man who confessed to murdering a father of four in front of his toddler was implicated in the crime by his own phone, bank and vehicle records.
An arrest warrant released in the case Tuesday shows detectives built a case against 62-year-old Henry Tenon after initially locating him using the make and model of his car. They then tied him to a second defendant, Mario Fernandez Saldana, using cell phone and bank records -- including three handwritten checks the latter wrote to Tenon.
Both men were charged with the murder of Jared Bridegan in February 2022. Fernandez Saldana has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder.
Earlier this month, Tenon pleaded guilty to second degree murder and agreed to testify against Fernandez Saldana. Fernandez Saldana is married to Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez. She has not been charged in the case, but both arrest warrants note the couple's "highly acrimonious divorce," something also mentioned by prosecutors when they announced Fernandez Saldana's arrest.
According to police, a Ford F-150 was spotted on surveillance footage near the scene where the murder occurred, in the Sanctuary neighborhood in Jacksonville Beach. A tire found in the road, believed to have been placed there as a ploy to get Bridegan out of his car, also belonged to a 2004 Ford F-150 Lariat.
Using vehicle records, detectives located Tenon and "began to focus on Tenon as a potential suspect."
The warrant says detectives conducted witness interviews, issued more than 77 subpoenas, and served more than 30 search warrants in their investigation.
"[The] investigation revealed a single link between Jared Bridegan and Henry-Tenon: Mario Fernandez Saldana," the warrant says. "Tenon was a tenant in a home on Potomac Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida owned by Fernandez Saldana. Fernandez Saldana is the current husband of Shana Gardner, Jared Bridegan's ex-wife. Investigation into Bridegan's background revealed a highly acrimonious divorce from his ex-wife, Shanna Gardner, and a contentious relationship with Gardner and Fernandez Saldana."
The warrant says detectives also found "evidence of payment from Fernandez Saldana to Tenon" in the form of "three handwritten checks."
And although Tenon initially said he'd had no contact with Fernandez Saldana after his lease on the Potomac Avenue home ended in February 2022, "this claim was belied by phone toll records which showed that Tenon and Fernandez Saldana had 35 phone contacts in February, 30 phone contacts in March, and 5-7 phone contacts in May and June," the arrest warrant states.
Fernandez Saldana is scheduled to be arraigned April 4.