ORLANDO, Florida – A Florida man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the tragic case of his wife’s death, which stemmed from a dispute over renovations in their upscale Orlando residence.
David Tronnes, the defendant in this heart-wrenching case, was convicted of the murder of his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes. The verdict was delivered following a six-day trial, during which the jury deliberated for nearly five hours. The Office of the State Attorney of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida announced the conviction.
The grim incident unfolded on April 24, 2018, when Cooper-Tronnes was discovered lifeless in their Delaney Park home. Tronnes initially claimed that he found his wife in the bathtub after a day of cleaning and walking their dogs, suggesting she had slipped and fallen. However, an autopsy report contradicted this account, revealing that the 39-year-old had been strangled and succumbed to blunt-force trauma to the head, conclusively determining her death as a homicide.
Orlando police uncovered inconsistencies in Tronnes’ narrative and noted his lack of remorse during interrogation. A detective pointed out, “Not one tear came out of your eyes — not one. You have fake cried over this woman’s death since we made contact with you. There is not a lick of remorse for what you did to this woman.”
The arrest of Tronnes by the Orlando Police Department occurred more than four months after his wife’s death, as they began to piece together the grim details. The conflict that culminated in this tragedy arose from extensive investments in home renovations and the potential opportunity to participate in a reality TV show, “Zombie House Renovations.” Prosecutors alleged that when Cooper-Tronnes refused to partake in the show, her husband’s frustration escalated, ultimately leading to the heinous act.
In 2021, Tronnes’ defense argued that he was unfit to stand trial due to ongoing manifestations of schizophrenia. This claim resulted in a judge ruling him incompetent and sending him to a state hospital. However, less than two years later, the hospital filed paperwork asserting that he was competent to stand trial once again.
The grim conclusion to this case followed a series of legal proceedings, including the defendant’s firing of his attorney, Richard Zaleski, due to a “serious conflict of interest.”
The conviction has brought closure to this harrowing chapter, as Tronnes was immediately sentenced to life in prison within the Florida Department of Corrections.