On tonight’s season premiere of 48 Hours, correspondent Erin Moriarty investigates the death of Shanti Cooper as well as the case against her husband, David Tronnes, who is awaiting trial on murder charges.
On April 24, 2018, David Tronnes called 911. During the call, he reported that his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, had fallen in the bathtub and said he had tried to resuscitate her.
Investigators, however, allege that Tronnes actually beat and choked his wife prior to making the 911 call. According to reports, they said he killed his wife and then went for a walk, went to the park with his dogs and even did housework before calling for help, People reported.
Read on to learn more about where Tronnes is now.
David Tronnes Is Currently Awaiting Trial & Has Pleaded Not Guilty
The autopsy performed on Shanti Cooper-Tronnes’ body revealed that the 38-year-old died from blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation. Detectives on the scene noted that her body was dry when they arrived, meaning it was unlikely she had been in the partially-filled tub like her husband said on the phone.
Tronnes was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Police argue that Tronnes strangled his wife at their home.
The trial was scheduled to begin on February 3, 2020, but it has been delayed since then. In January 2020, The Orlando Sentinel reported that Tronnes had gotten a new lawyer, who was planning to file a motion to delay the trial so he could get all the facts and evidence before the beginning of a trial.
Tronnes was originally assigned a public defender, but after being accused of hiding money from authorities by the prosecution, he was stripped of that attorney. Any investigation into possible fraud or misrepresentation will be handled following the murder trial, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Tronnes Is Accused of Murdering His Wife
Tronnes was arrested four months after his wife’s death. At the time, he pleaded not guilty and was denied bail.
In July 2019, The Orlando Sentinel reported that Tronnes asked to be moved to protective custody again. He said in a letter to Circuit Judge John Marshall Kest that because of “high profile media allegations,” he was a “target of physical/sexual/financial threats” in jail and needed protective custody. He said he was targeted and attacked in March 2019, moved to protective custody, and then placed back in general population.
“I sustained injuries to my head, jaw, ear, eye [and] neck, am unable to chew solid food, and am struggling with basic tasks,” Tronnes wrote to the judge. “After reporting [both] attacks I’m a ‘marked snitch’ and was told I’d ‘be killed [and] unsafe anywhere in the jail.’”
Tronnes maintains his innocence in his wife’s murder. His current defense attorney, Richard Zaleski, told 48 Hours that investigators had their eyes set on Tronnes as their suspect from the very beginning.
They “went into this room, decided that David Tronnes was a murderer, and then went the extra mile to try to put a file together to prove such,” he siad.
David Tronnes is currently awaiting trial in Orange County Jail in Orlando. The trial has been delayed several times, and Tronnes is being held without bail.