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Crime News Domestic Violence

Florida Man Convicted of Murdering Wife After Fighting Over Appearing on Home Renovation Show

Prosecutors said that Shanti Cooper-Tronnes was beaten and strangled to death by her husband David Tronnes because she refused to appear on the show Zombie House Renovations.

By Elisabeth Ford
Police handouts of David Tronnes and Shanti Cooper Tronnes

A Florida man has been found guilty of murdering his wife in 2018 after she refused to go on a home improvement reality TV show.

After a six-day trial, a jury found David Tronnes, 55, guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday in the violent killing of his 39-year-old wife Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, the State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida said in a press release.

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Cooper-Tronnes was beaten and strangled to death in the home she shared with Tronnes on April 24, 2018, according to the state attorney's office. The couple were having marital disputes over money and ownership of their house.

David Tronnes was angry that Shanti Cooper-Tronnes didn't want to appear on Zombie House Renovations

Cooper-Tronnes also rejected Tronnes’ request to appear on the home renovation show, Zombie House Renovations, prosectors saidTronnes had spent thousands of dollars fixing up the house in hopes of making on to the reality show.

“Cooper-Tronnes’ refusal to appear on the show upset Tronnes to the point that it led to her murder,” the state attorney’s office said.

“She was brutally attacked and then strangled,” prosecutors said in court Wednesday, according to ClickOrlando.com.

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Prosecutors said last week that the 39-year-old was beaten so badly that her skull cracked, according to NBC affiliate WESH 2.

"There's blood all over her face, a huge wound, bruising around her neck," they said.

David Tronnes tried to clean up murder scene

The state attorney's office said that Tronnes tried to clean up the site of the murder before police arrived. He told authorities that he found Cooper-Tronnes partially submerged and bleeding in the bathtub after he'd been cleaning much of the day and walking his dogs. 

Prosecutors presented evidence that they said showed that Cooper-Tronnes was killed in a bedroom. A medical examiner testified that the victim was found with injuries to her face and bruises on her eyes. They also said that blood evidence contradicted Tronnes' claim that he found his wife in the bathtub. 

“He wiped down the bed rail, he brought water out to those blood stains in an attempt to clean it up. The shower it was dry, that’s the testimony from law enforcement,” prosectors said, according to ClickOrlando.com.

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"From the beginning, investigators with the Orlando Police Department noticed inaccuracies with Tronnes’ story," the state attorney’s office said. "Investigators also noted Tronnes showed little remorse during his interrogation and never shed a tear over his wife’s death. Detectives did their due diligence and once they collected all the necessary evidence, they arrested Tronnes four months later and charged him with murder."

Tronnes was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday.

Members of Cooper-Tronnes' family spoke before the sentencing, including the victim’s son.

"Early 2018, she was taken from me and my family," the victim's son said, according to WESH. "It's like a hole in my heart that I can't fill or fix. She didn't die peacefully. She did not deserve anything that happened to her that night. My family and I have been waiting for about five years for justice. I miss her so much. I would never have thought the day before was the last time I'd see my mother alive."