An Orlando man was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of killing his wife in their Delaney Park home in 2018.
David Tronnes, 55, was found guilty by a jury after a six-day trial that concluded Wednesday, according to the state attorney’s office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. The jury deliberated nearly five hours before delivering a guilty verdict on first-degree murder. Tronnes was immediately sentenced to life in prison.
He was convicted in the slaying of 39-year-old wife Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, who prosecutors say was beaten and strangled after the couple disagreed over expensive, years-long renovations to their home on East Copeland Drive.
According to the state attorney’s office, Tronnes had spent thousands of dollars on renovations with hopes of appearing on a reality television show called “Zombie House Renovations.”
“Cooper-Tronnes’ refusal to appear on the show upset Tronnes to the point that it led to her murder,” the agency said in a news release.
During the renovation of their home, Tronnes slept in the garage while the victim slept in a one-bedroom studio on the property.
Evidence presented during the trial showed the victim was killed in the bedroom and Tronnes attempted to clean up prior to police arriving on scene.
Tronnes claimed he found his wife unconscious in the bathtub after spending the day cleaning and walking his dogs. Authorities say the medical examiner’s testimony told a different story — one that pointed to his wife’s facial injuries, blood evidence and bruises on the victim’s eyes.
From the beginning, investigators with the Orlando Police Department noticed inaccuracies with Tronnes’ story, according to the news release. Investigators also noted Tronnes showed little remorse during his interrogation and never shed a tear over his wife’s death.
Detectives arrested Tronnes four months later and charged him with murder.
His trial was among many delayed by the coronavirus pandemic that forced courts statewide to reduce operations. It was featured on the CBS true-crime TV show “48 Hours” and dubbed “Home Renovation Homicide.”