• Orlando man accused of killing wife loses public defender

    By: Field Sutton , Chip Skambis

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando man accused of murdering his wife in their Delaney Park home lost his lawyer at a court hearing Monday after prosecutors allege he misrepresented his net worth to the court. 

    Shanti Cooper-Tronnes was found dead in her home more than a year ago. Her husband, David Tronnes, is charged in her death.

    According to prosecutors, Tronnes set up a shell company weeks before he was indicted for murder. 

    “The defendant has created an LLC, for which he is the sole controller of, with $112,000 in those accounts,” said prosecutor Ryan Vescio at the hearing. 

    Earlier in the case, Tronnes had claimed he was poor and qualified for a public defender. 

    “We’re in a difficult position. I don’t want Mr. Tronnes to speak today or to incriminate himself in any way,” said Robert Wesley, public defender. 

    Tronnes whispered to his lawyers during the hearing, telling them to tell the judge he doesn’t get his financial statements and has no clue how much money he has. 

    "The discovery in this case shows that there have been misrepresentations made to this court, that the defendant was not truthful and accurate in the reporting of his information,” said Vescio. 

    Judge John Marshall Kest ended up siding with prosecutors. 

    “Those representations now appear to be incomplete, inaccurate or possibly untrue,” said Kest. 

    Kest took the public defender off the case and told Tronnes to dig into the secret bank account and hire somebody himself. 

    “Refer this matter to the Office of the State Attorney for further investigation of possible fraud,” said Kest. 

    Tronnes now finds himself the subject of another criminal investigation, only loosely connected to the murder of his wife.

    In March, attorneys for Cooper-Tronnes estate raised questions about the shell company in civil litigation. 

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