Florida man jailed for life after killing wife for refusal to go on reality TV show

David Tronnes, 55, was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Delaney Cooper-Tronnes on Wednesday

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Friday 20 October 2023 17:50 EDT
Delphi murders hearing delayed

A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife after she refused to appear on a home renovation television show with him.

David Tronnes, 55, was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Delaney Cooper-Tronnes on Wednesday, following a six-day trial. Jurors deliberated for around five hours before returning the verdict.

He was sentenced to life in prison immediately by a judge.

According to the state attorney’s office, Tronnes had spent thousands of dollars on renovations for his property and had hopes of appearing on the reality show Zombie House Renovations. His eagerness had led to marital difficulties.

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

She was found beaten and strangled to death in the couple’s Delaney Park house in April 2018, after a dispute concerning home renovations. During the renovation of their home, Tronnes slept in the garage while his wife slept in a one-bedroom studio on the property.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that Ms Cooper-Tronnes was killed in the bedroom and Tronnes had attempted to clean up prior to police arriving on scene.

Tronnes claimed he found his wife in the bathtub after spending the day cleaning and walking his dogs, which was disputed by a medical examiner, based on Ms Cooper-Tronnes’ facial injuries and blood evidence.

Throughout the investigation, the Orlando Police Department had noted inaccuracies with Tronnes’ story. Investigators also noted Tronnes showed little remorse during his interrogation and “never shed a tear over his wife’s death”.

Tronnes was sentenced to life in prison in the Florida Department of Corrections.

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