TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man accused of beating and strangling his wife to death in their Orlando home has been found guilty by a jury Wednesday night, according to NBC affiliate WESH.
David Tronnes was sentenced to life in prison nearly five years after murdering his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes after she refused to be a part of a home renovation reality show, “Zombie House Flipping.”
The couple was in the process of renovating their home, which quickly turned into a money pit. WESH reported that investigators said David was hoping to get on the reality show to “bail out the project.”
Friends of Shanti told police that she was excited about possibly being on the reality show. But detectives believed she was upset with the project and was making plans to leave David.
According to WESH, the state said the renovation project was causing a lot of financial issues and Shanti’s name was not on the deed, and she was pressuring David to do it.
“She didn’t die peacefully,” Shanti’s son, Jackson Cooper, said. “She did not deserve anything that happened to her that night.’
In Wednesday’s deliberations, a state prosecutor said David had a motive to murder his wife after she was not on board with the reality show, saying, “That is an intent to kill.”
“Exhilaration, and a little bit of peace. Something we haven’t had since 2018,” a family member said regarding the emotions they are feeling.
David initially claimed he found his wife passed out in the bathtub, submerged and bleeding, WESH said.
“It’s five years of struggle and pain lifted off of our shoulders,” Jackson added. “It feels good inside that he’s finally where he is and now that we can move on knowing that he’s where he’s supposed to be and where he’s meant to be.”
At the family’s request, the death penalty had been dismissed.
“We’re going to wake up tomorrow a little brighter,” the family member said after the verdict was reached.