Parents of Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife ‘patently lying’ in child custody docs after mom’s murder arrest: expert

EXCLUSIVE: The parents of Jared Bridegan’s ex-wife are asking a court to grant them custody of their grandchildren – but in the petition, they appear to provide glaringly false information.

With Bridegan dead and his ex-wife, Shanna Gardner-Fernandez, in jail and accused of his murder, her wealthy parents, Shelli and Sterling Gardner, want to keep the couple’s 11-year-old twins.

But they appear to misrepresent where the children lived in the last five years and whether any other relatives have sought visitation.

“Coming to the court and patently lying by filling out a form with false information warrants a complete dismissal of their application,” matrimonial lawyer Marilyn Chinitz, who represented Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Michael Douglas in their divorces, told Fox News Digital.

EX-WIFE OF JARED BRIDEGAN ARRESTED IN MICROSOFT EXEC’S MURDER

Group of people smiling at a table.

From left, Mario Fernandez, Sterling and Shelli Gardner and Shanna Gardner- Fernandez. The twins who Gardener-Fernandez shares with her slain ex-husband, Jared Bridegan, are shown with their faces blurred. Gardner-Fernandez is charged with having Bridegan murdered. (So Shelli)

Gardner-Fernandez, 35, was arrested Aug. 16 in West Richland, Washington, for allegedly orchestrating the murder of the Microsoft executive and father of four more than 19 months ago.

The 33-year-old was shot to death in front of his toddler daughter, Bexley, in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

The petition filed in Benton County Superior Court in Washington state asks a straightforward question about residency.

“During the past 5 years have any of the children lived…outside Washington state?” The Gardners reportedly checked “No” and failed to fill out the next set of questions that asked for a comprehensive list of where the children have lived and with whom.

Gardner-Fernandez and the children only moved from Florida in December 2022 to escape scrutiny from the highly publicized murder. 

MAJOR BREAK IN JARED BRIDEGAN MURDER MYSTERY AFTER EX-WIFE MOVES CROSS-COUNTRY

A family portrait of Kirsten and Jared Bridegan

A family portrait of Jared and Kirsten Bridegan (Infinite Focus Photography / Madeline Insignares)

The Gardners, whose primary residence is in Utah, bought her the million-dollar home that became her refuge before her arrest.

Chinitz said the Gardners may have provided the inaccurate answer to ensure the case wasn’t litigated in Florida, where the paternal grandparents live, but the maneuver could backfire.

“The court will look at that petition with a really jaundiced eye,” the high-powered attorney said.

She added that it’s unlikely they misread the question given that they both signed the legal document, as did their lawyer, under penalty of perjury.

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Shanna Gardner-Fernandez makes a virtual court appearance

Shanna Gardner-Fernandez makes a virtual court appearance in Kennewick, Washington, on Oct. 5, 2023. Gardner-Fernandez is facing charges for allegedly orchestrating the 2022 murder of her ex-husband, Jared Bridegan, in Jacksonville, Florida. (Derek Shook for Fox News Digital)

The Gardners offered another puzzling answer to the question: “Do you know of anyone besides you and the parents who have, or claims to have, a legal right to spend time with any of these children?”

Again, they checked “No.” But Jared’s widow, Kirsten Bridegan, with whom he shared two children, Bexley and London, has publicly begged Gardner-Fernandez and her parents for visitation.

Before Jared’s murder, the exes had joint custody and the twins lived half the year with their half-siblings.

After Gardner-Fernandez’s arrest, Kirsten tearfully begged for the children to be reunited.

“We are their family. We love them,” she told reporters. “Despite my constant requests to see or speak to them, I have been denied and continuously ignored.”

WATCH JARED BRIDEGAN’S WIDOW SPEAK OUT AFTER SHANNA GARDNER-FERNANDEZ’S ARREST FOR HIS MURDER

Jared’s parents, Gaylord and Joanna Bridegan, have also asked to spend time with their grandchildren.

“This is a highly publicized case where the widow and paternal grandparents are out there saying they want to see the kids. I can’t even justify why they would make that false statement,” Chinitz said.

Under another question asking the Gardners to list the children’s assets, they omitted the twins’ sizable trust accounts.

Shelli Gardner owns the lucrative papercraft company Stampin’ Up! and has financially supported Gardner-Fernandez for most of her adult life, according to court papers previously obtained by Fox News Digital.

The Gardners, who own homes across the country, sold their oceanfront Jacksonville Beach vacation property for $3,650,000 last month, further cutting their ties to Florida.

READ PETITION FOR CUSTODY FILED BY WEALTHY PARENTS OF ACCUSED KILLER SHANNA GARDNER-FERNANDEZ

Gardner-Fernandez, who is expected to be extradited to Jacksonville, also signed the petition, ceding her parental rights to her parents.

In a declaration, which was not signed by Gardner-Fernandez, the Gardners requested that the children have “limited or no visitation” with their mother because she is “charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder and child abuse.”

Gardner-Fernandez is indicted alongside her estranged second husband, Mario Fernandez, and the shooter, Henry Tenon, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.

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Jared Bridegan with his four children

Jared Bridegan is shown with his four children on a pumpkin picking excursion. (Kirsten Bridegan)

The trio is accused of conspiring to kill Jared on Feb. 16, 2022, after he dropped the twins off at Gardner-Fernandez’s home.

He was lured from his car by a tire placed in the road and was gunned down in front of his daughter, Bexley, then 2, who narrowly escaped with her life.

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Bridegan and his ex-wife were locked in a bitter custody dispute at the time.

If convicted, Gardner-Fernandez and Fernandez could face the death penalty. The Gardners’ lawyer, Rachel Woodard, and Shelli Gardner didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Gardner-Fernandez’s criminal defense lawyer, Henry Coxe III, also did not respond to a request for comment.

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