Investigated in wife's death (no charges were filed)
Aiden Jennings is the father of one of the students in Ciara Brady's class. Ciara was harassing his son, Chase. Aiden brought the bullying to Father Louie's attention and Father Louie called Hope in to talk about the problem.
Hope met Aiden in Father Louie's office. Aiden accused Hope of being a bad parent and not being able to control her daughter. Hope took offense to the comment, but promised to talk to Ciara about the incident.
Over the next few months, Aiden and Hope continued to butt heads during various events like the St. Luke Fundraiser bake sale. Their children continued to argue, putting them at odds even more. Hope accused Aiden of being too judgmental. Aiden accused Hope of having double standards for her family when it came to the law.
One day, a man on the Town Square tried to steal Chase's phone. Hope was there, stepped in and arrested the man. From then on, the relationship between Aiden and Hope softened. The two agreed to work together on the Summer Gala -- a huge fundraiser for St. Luke's. Eventually, the two formed a true friendship.
That friendship turned into romantic feelings. But, Hope wasn't ready to move on from Bo until she formally divorced him. So, she sent the divorce papers to the last known address she had for him. (Bo had been gone from Salem for two years at this point and Hope didn't know exactly where he was.) After that, she accepted Aiden's date offer. The two began dating and getting to know each other.
To this point, Aiden had only mentioned that his wife passed away. But, he never offered up any details about her. One day he ran into a woman named Bree who used to live in Salem and was friends with Hope. Bree lived in Portland now and recognized Aiden when she saw him. She ominously told him that she thinks about what happened to Meredith a lot. Aiden was upset.
Hope noticed that something was bothering Aiden, so she asked him about it. He knew that it was time to come clean to Hope, so he told her about Meredith's death. Toward the end of their marriage, while living in Portland, they were having problems, often resulting in loud fights. Eventually, Meredith became very depressed. One night during a terrible fight, Meredith grabbed a gun and pointed it at her head. Aiden said that he plead with her not to pull the trigger. But, she told him that she would rather die than spend one more day with him. Then she shot herself. The police in Portland investigated Aiden's story and found no reason not to believe him. No charges were filed. But, Meredith's friends kept insisting that Aiden murdered her. Aiden told Hope that he moved Chase from Portland to give him a better life away from the gossip.
Hope believed Aiden. And since he'd opened up to her, she felt close enough to him to take their relationship to the next level. The two told their children that they were dating and began going out publicly.
As Aiden and Hope's realtionship progressed, Aiden decided to cut even more ties with his past life. He wanted to sell the lake house that they used to own. Chase insisted that he wanted to see the house one more time. So, the four of them went up for a visit. While there, Hope caught Bree trying to break into the house. Bree told Hope that somewhere in the house was a recording that Meredith had made, proving that Aiden killed her. Hope kicked Bree out. But, while looking for a phone charger in a desk drawer, Hope came across the recording.
In the video, Meredeth explained that Aiden had been trying to kill her for months. She said that he had been sneaking anit-freeze into her wine at night, but had stopped when she made an appointment with her doctor to check her blood. Hope found the anit-freeze in the spot where Meredith said it was. In the video, Meredith also showed the gun she'd bought.
Hope pushed Aiden for details about the video. Aiden broke down and told her that the story he told her before was a lie. The truth was that a drunken Meredith left her gun on the table and Chase -- a toddler at the time -- found it. She rushed to get it away from him. In the struggled, the gun went off and killed Meredith.
When Aiden heard the shot, he rushed downstairs and saw what happened. He took Chase upstairs and put him to bed. Then, he took all of Chase's clothes and wiped down the gun. Then, he called the police and gave them the suicide story. The police believed him. To protect Chase from ever remembering, Aiden moved Chase away from all potential memories.
Hope believed Aiden and promised to help him protect Chase.