Detectives say man accused of killing his wife gave 'cockamamie theory' of what happened

Suspect claims victim fell in shower, records show

DELANEY PARK, Fla. – After hours of questioning, detectives with the Orlando Police Department made it clear: They were not buying 50-year-old David Tronnes' story about what happened to his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes.

"Shanti did not fall and get those injuries," Detective Teresa Sprague said. "It's pretty evident to me that Shanti's been murdered."

In April, Tronnes called 911 saying his wife was not breathing. 

He later told detectives he found his wife lying face down in the tub. He told detectives he believed she slipped and fell while in the shower.

A scenario detectives did not believe.

"For you to see the significance of her injuries up close and personal like you did and come up with this cockamamie theory that she fell and hit her head, is just baffling to me that you thought we would believe that," Sprague said.

The medical examiner determined Cooper-Tronnes died of blunt force trauma and strangulation, but Tronnes would not budge.

Detectives grew even more skeptical after Tronnes admitted his wife had a $250,000 life insurance policy and he is the beneficiary.

The couple bought their $600,000 Delaney Park home in 2015 and planned to renovate it, but lived in the back garage apartment because the interior of the house was gutted.

Detectives asked Tronnes if the stress of the renovation made him snap. 

"I don't think you're a bad guy.  I don't think you're a cold-blooded killer, but I do think you killed your wife," Sprague said.

Tronnes is charged with first-degree murder. He has entered a not guilty plea.

About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning reporter Louis Bolden joined the News 6 team in September of 2001 and hasn't gotten a moment's rest since. Louis has been a General Assignment Reporter for News 6 and Weekend Morning Anchor. He joined the Special Projects/Investigative Unit in 2014.