‘No getting out of this one:’ Shanna Gardner’s attorney claims prosecution lied, withheld evidence

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The high-profile attorney representing Shanna Gardner in her alleged murder-for-hire case claims the prosecution withheld evidence, lied during court testimony, and mischaracterized witness statements.

The defense is asking the court to reconsider Gardner’s bond.

In a letter to State Attorney Melissa Nelson, Shanna Gardner’s attorney Jose Baez claimed a Jacksonville Beach Police detective lied on the witness stand during a bond hearing.


Baez claimed the detective falsely claimed he never personally spoke with a witness, whose text exchanges with Gardner were used as evidence to support Gardner being held in jail without bond.

“We even have the phone records from when Detective Johns actually called her. So, there’s no getting out of this one,” Baez said.

Additionally, Baez claimed those text messages, which included one from 2016 where Gardner asked her friend, “Is it too late to get a hitman,” along with testimony from another witness, were mischaracterized by the prosecution.

“Many of them were made in jest and they were not taken seriously by anyone and in fact, many of the individuals who were surrounding this case knew that,” Baez said.

But Baez claimed that additional context wasn’t shared with the defense, and it wasn’t until those witnesses contacted his office that the defense was made aware.

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“Both witnesses submitted affidavits clarifying their position and basically saying these statements were completely taken out of context,” Baez said.

In response to Baez’s allegations, the State Attorney’s Office issued a statement.

“We will respond to these spurious allegations in the appropriate venue — the courtroom, not the courthouse steps. We continue to abide by the ethical standards that govern all Florida attorneys regarding trial publicity,” SAO Communications Director David Chapman said.

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Due to the alleged misconduct, Baez filed a motion requesting Gardner’s bond be reconsidered, the case be reassigned to another state attorney’s office, or thrown out completely.

“If this is the type of conduct and these are the types of things that are done in this case when everyone is watching, you can only imagine what is been done when no one is watching,” Baez said.

Action News Jax also reached out to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department for a response to Baez’s accusations and is awaiting a response.

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