Florida husband found guilty of murdering wife after she refused to go on home renovation TV show

Written by Jeppe W

Oct.20 - 2023 8:00 AM CET

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Photo: Shotterstuck
Photo: Shotterstuck

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A Florida man was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury on Wednesday. Prosecutors say the 2018 crime involved the strangling and beating of his wife after she declined to be a part of a home-renovation reality TV show.

David Tronnes, aged 55, is said to have murdered his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, in their residence located in Delaney Park, an Orlando neighborhood. This information was revealed in a statement by the State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit on Wednesday.

According to prosecutors, Tronnes had invested thousands in home renovations with an aspiration to feature on the reality show, ‘Zombie House Renovations.’

Marital Tensions Over TV Appearance

Cooper-Tronnes' decision not to join her husband on the TV show was reportedly a significant source of their disputes, which prosecutors claim eventually drove Tronnes to murder.

The trial, which spanned six days, reached its conclusion on Wednesday. The jury deliberated for under five hours before returning with their verdict.

Following the verdict, Tronnes received an immediate life sentence in the Florida Department of Corrections, as noted by prosecutors.

Contradicting Stories Lead to Arrest

Details provided by prosecutors illustrate the couple's living arrangement during their home’s renovation phase. Tronnes took up residence in the garage, while his wife, who was 39, stayed in a one-bedroom studio within the property.

It was in this bedroom that Cooper-Tronnes met her tragic end. Prosecutors claim Tronnes tried to tidy up the crime scene before the arrival of the police.

However, investigators from the Orlando police detected inconsistencies in Tronnes' recounting of events. He alleged he discovered his wife's body in the bathtub after a day filled with chores and walking their dogs.

Yet, as prosecutors highlighted, the medical examiner’s observations painted a different scenario. Bruising on the victim’s eyes, facial injuries, and blood evidence suggested another story.

Throughout the interrogation, prosecutors noted Tronnes' apparent lack of remorse and the absence of any emotional reaction to his wife’s death.

Four months post the crime, after gathering the necessary evidence, Tronnes was arrested and faced murder charges.

Attempts to get a comment from Tronnes’ attorney on Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.

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