David Tronnes, 55, has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of his wife 39-year-old Shanti Cooper-Tronnes in April 2018.
Cooper-Tronnes, who had been married to Tronnes for around a year, was found in a bathtub at their home in Orlando, Florida.
Prosecutors in the case say that Tronnes told investigators that his wife had ‘passed out’ and fallen in the tub, one week after she walked out of a meeting with a contractor who worked for reality show ‘Zombie House Flipping’.
Flipping is a strategy used that involves buying homes, renovating them and then selling them on for a quick profit.
According to the Huffington Post, prosecutor Michael Smith said the TV show was a ‘lifeline’ for Tronnes who was counting on it to save their home.
Prosecutors in the case say that Tronnes, pictured here, told investigators that his wife had ‘passed out’ and fallen in the tub
The trial into the murder of his wife began earlier this week, with Tronnes seen here in the court room
Prosecutor Michael Smith said the TV show was a ‘lifeline’ for Tronnes who was counting on it to save their home, seen here
The outlet reported that Smith said even first responders had questioned Tronnes’ account from the beginning.
According to them, Cooper-Tronnes had been the victim of a ‘violent attack’ and had sustained multiple injuries which included a wound on her face and neck bruising.
A medical examiner ruled that Cooper-Tronnes had died from blunt force trauma to her head and strangulation.
Tronnes had paid $600,000 in cash for their 4,000-square-foot home in the Delaney Park neighborhood of Orlando, but kept his wife’s name off the deed.
Ryan Vescio, who headed the investigation into Tronnes previously told 48 Hours that he became obsessed with the renovation.
He said: ‘This house became more than just a project to David Tronnes. It was his life.’
Tronnes had believed that if the house appeared on ‘Zombie House Flipping’ its value would increase, prosecutor Smith said.
Due to Cooper-Tronnes not being dedicated to the idea of appearing on the show, prosecutors have said that Tronnes killed her.
Initially, Tronnes was found incompetent to stand trial due to a schizophrenia diagnosis but this was over ruled by a judge last year which allowed proceedings to continue
Cooper-Tronnes, right, had been the victim of a ‘violent attack’ and had sustained multiple injuries which included a wound on her face and neck bruising
In court this week, jurors heard from people who knew the couple that included friends and family.
According to Wesh, Lori Cootcher, who had worked with Cooper-Tronnes, told the court room that Tronnes failed to notify his wife’s family of her passing.
She told the court: ‘I asked David if I had permission to notify the clients, and he said yes.
‘But he said it would be disrespectful to notify the clients before I notify Shanti’s family, and I said, ‘Have you notified Shantee’s family and friends,’ and he said, “No”.’
According to Fox News, retired police officer Steven Wilson was first to respond to the scene.
The outlet reported that he said: ‘He was not crying. In this case, he was acting as though he was sobbing.’
Tronnes denied involvement in her death, claiming that he found her face down in their bathtub after coming inside from chores.
The two had met on Match.com in 2013 and he then moved his life to Florida to be with her just a few months later.
Cooper-Tronnes had an eight-year old son from a prior relationship, who has been sitting in on proceedings.
Since the beginning, though, investigators and prosecutors have labeled his story a bad cover-up, with his wife being found dry despite his claims she was in the bath.
Tronnes, seen here in his earlier mugshot, denied involvement in her death, claiming that he found her face down in their bathtub after coming inside from chores
The two had met on Match.com in 2013 and he then moved his life to Florida to be with her just a few months later, with Tronnes living with her and her son from an earlier relationship
During his interview with police, he suggested his wife slipped and fell while trying to get in the bath.
Detective Teresa Sprague is heard in an audio recording, originally obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, telling Tronnes his story did not match any of the evidence at the scene.
Detective Sprague can be heard saying: ‘Common sense would tell you if you pull a woman — soaking wet — out of a tub at 3 o’clock and call the police within six minutes, that everything will be soaking wet when police arrive within three minutes of that.’
In the footage, Tronnes, who later told detectives he ‘didn’t have the information’ they were looking for, chose to play dumb.
He asked the detective: ‘So how did everything dry out?’ he asked, to which she responded: ‘That’s our question.’
While Tronnes painted his marriage as happy and full of love, police were not having a bar of it.
Detective Teresa Sprague is heard in an audio recording, originally obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, telling Tronnes his story did not match any of the evidence at the scene
Sprague, who had called his account of events leading up to Cooper-Tronne’s death ‘hogwash’, said the accused had failed to portray any emotion expected of a man who had tragically lost his beloved wife.
She told him: ‘You’ve fake cried for about seven or eight hours today. 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.’
WFTV had previously reported that Tronnes frequented a gay spa, which included a visit the day after his wedding and two weeks prior to his wife being killed.
Initially, Tronnes was found incompetent to stand trial due to a schizophrenia diagnosis, his attorney said.
A judge ruled over this last May and said he was competent following treatment at a state hospital.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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