David Tronnes: Where is the Killer Husband Now?

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ABC’s ’20/20: A Killer Renovation’ focuses on David Tronnes, a man whose focus on a dream project led to some extremely fatal consequences. The death of his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, certainly gained the attention of the world, especially given his involvement in the crime. His motivations and actions before and after his attempt to be on a reality television show have made the viewers extremely interested in his case.

David Tronnes’ Obsession With Renovation Led to Deadly Consequences

David Tronnes first met Shanti Cooper-Tronnes via Match.com in 2013. Given that both of them were going through a divorce at the time, they found it easy to connect with each other, with Shanti also doing her best to take care of her son Jackson Cooper as a single mother. The romance between the two blossomed into something deep and David chose to leave Minnesota behind in 2015 in order to move in with Shanti in Orlando, Florida.

During this time, David also became the owner of a 4,000-square-foot house on East Copeland Drive in Delaney Park, Orlando, that came with a pool, a garage apartment, and many other amenities. While the couple lived there, they realized that the house’s Victorian style might not be the right fit for them, as they preferred open-concept design. As such, they started to renovate their home, with David especially delving into the project with much passion. As the renovation carried on, the couple had to move into the garage apartment as the main property was heavily under construction.

The house, which had cost $600,000 at the time, did not have Shanti’s name on the deed, with David having put his own mother’s name in the trust. However, that did not stop Shanti from investing north of a quarter million dollars into the house’s renovation. The couple got married in 2017, and yet the renovation of their home was far from complete. As such, David decided to contact Keith Ori, a renowned renovator who lived nearby and was the star of ‘Zombie House Flipping,’ a show centered around converting worst-looking homes into someone’s dream house.

“When I got there… they had fully disassembled this house to a degree that I’d never seen before. It was rather astonishing.” Ori shared with CBS News. “They took away the studs. They took away all the interior dividing walls, and basically, what was left was a two-story shell.” Despite it all, the renovator and his team were able to strike up a deal with David in April 2018 that the house would be worked upon for the next season of the show, with production set to begin in May 2018. However, Ori also recalled how he had once gone to meet the couple to ensure that they were on board and realized that Shanti was not very happy with her husband.

Image Credit: Shanti Cooper/Facebook

On April 24, 2018, mere days after Ori’s visit, David called the Orlando police, stating that he had discovered Shanti’s dead body. Upon further questioning, he revealed that he had gone to walk his dogs and had found his wife when he had returned. He insisted that he had tried to perform CPR, but it was to no avail. However, the injuries on Shanti’s body did not seem to match with what David had stated. Even if Shanti had fallen into the tub, the injuries seemed inconsistent with such an accident.

Not only did Shanti have injuries on her cheeks and her eye, but her autopsy also indicated that she had suffered from strangulation and blunt-force trauma to the head. Given the situation pertaining to their home, the investigators could not help but wonder if Shanti’s death might have been a result of an argument. Given the state of their home, one which Shanti legally did not even own, authorities were compelled to believe that she was tired of the renovation that had been going on for years and might have tried to back out from investing more money into the project.

An additional reason behind the argument between David and Shanti might have something to do with the fact that the former had allegedly lied about inheriting $4-$6 million from his father. Police suspected that Shanti had discovered this to be a lie and hence decided to back out from being a part of Ori’s show, which may have enraged David. Moreover, Shanti was allegedly also unhappy when she learned that her husband might be frequenting bathhouses to have sexual relations with various anonymous men.

David Tronnes is Now in Prison

Following up on various leads, the authorities ended up arresting David Tronnes on the charge of murder on August 29, 2018, pertaining to the death of Shanti Cooper-Tronnes. This also allowed them to find Shanti’s missing engagement ring among his belongings, which negated any theory of robbery that David might have presented as a possible alternative to his involvement in the killing. They also got tips that Dave may have been gradually poisoning his former wife, Carole, in the past, though the lady in question has since asserted that she herself does not believe that to be the case.

After much investigation, David’s trial began on October 12, 2023, and went on for six days. On October 18, 2023, he was found guilty of first-degree murder. He was immediately sentenced to life in prison, something that Shanti’s son, Jackson Cooper, publically expressed his appreciation for. “It feels good inside that he’s finally where he is,” he expressed. “We can move on knowing that he’s where he’s supposed to be – where he’s meant to be.” Now 55 years old, David is a resident of Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley, Florida.

Read More: Carole Tronnes: Where is David Tronnes’ Ex-Wife Now?