David Tronnes has pleaded not guilty to a single count of first-degree murder stemming from the April death of his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes

By Chris Harris
September 28, 2018 12:33 PM
David Tronnes, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes
| Credit: Orlando Police

In interrogation footage released this week, Orlando Police detectives candidly tell a man accused of murdering his wife they think his denial is “hogwash” while also accusing the suspect of faking tears.

“You’ve fake cried for about seven or eight hours today,” Detective Teresa Sprague tells David Tronnes, after the 50-year-old told them his 39-year-old wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, died April 24 after she slipped and fell stepping into a bathtub in their Delaney Park home.

“Not one tear came out of your eyes — not one,” Sprague said in interrogation video obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. “You have fake cried over this woman’s death since we made contact with you. There is not a lick of remorse for what you did to this woman.”

Tronnes, who is still in custody, has pleaded not guilty to a single count of first-degree murder. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

While Tronnes maintains Cooper-Tronnes died from the fall, an autopsy revealed that blunt-force trauma to the head and strangulation led to her death.

Detectives tell Tronnes during the interrogation that his account — that he found her in a half-filled tub, and pulled her out of the water, carrying her into the living room — makes no sense, as both the tub and Cooper-Tronnes’ body were dry when police and paramedics arrived.

According to investigators, Tronnes allegedly told police that he called 911 within minutes of finding his wife. Emergency responders were on the scene three minutes after the call came in.

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“Common sense would tell you if you pull a woman — soaking wet — out of a tub at 3 o’clock and call the police within six minutes, that everything will be soaking wet when police arrive within three minutes of that,” Sprague reasoned. “That’s common sense.”

“So how did everything dry out?,” Tronnes asked.

“That’s our question,” Sprague responded.

David Tronnes being detained
| Credit: Orlando Police

Detective Barbara McClelland told Tronnes the evidence contradicts his account.

“Your story is B.S.,” McClellan said. “So you’d better figure it out before it goes too far, because I’m telling you right now — nobody is going to believe that. Nobody. If you maintain that, you’re going to look like a fool.”

Tronnes maintained that what he was saying was true, apologizing in the interrogation to the detectives for not having the information they wanted.

The couple had only been married a year after meeting through an online dating site.

A trial date has not been set yet.