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

A jury convicted a Florida man of first-degree murder Wednesday in the 2018 strangling and beating death of his wife after she refused to appear on a home renovation reality TV show, prosecutors said.

David Tronnes, 55, killed his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, on April 24, 2018, in the couple’s home in the Orlando neighborhood of Delaney Park, the State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit said in a statement Wednesday.

“Tronnes had spent thousands of dollars on renovations and had hopes of appearing on the reality television show, ‘Zombie House Renovations.’ This led to the couple experiencing problems in their marriage,” prosecutors said. “Cooper-Tronnes’ refusal to appear on the show upset Tronnes to the point that it led to her murder.”

The six-day trial concluded Wednesday when the jury returned with a verdict in less than five hours. Tronnes was immediately sentenced to life in prison, prosecutors said.

During the renovation of their home, Tronnes slept in the garage, while his wife, 39, slept in a one-bedroom studio on the property, prosecutors said. Cooper-Tronnes was killed in the bedroom, and her husband tried to clean up the crime scene before police arrived, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Orlando police investigators noticed inaccuracies in Tronnes’ story. He claimed he found his wife in the bathtub after having spent the day cleaning and walking his dogs.

However, the medical examiner “testified that facial injuries, blood evidence and bruises on the victim’s eyes told a different story,” prosecutors said.

Tronnes showed little remorse in an interrogation and never cried about his wife’s death, prosecutors said.

He was arrested four months later and charged with murder after the necessary evidence was collected, prosecutors said.

Tronnes’ attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.


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