Lisa Troemner found not guilty in the fatal stabbing of Trevor Smith
Lisa Troemner is accused of killing her boyfriend more than three years ago. She faces a charge of second-degree murder. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison. Vonna Keomanyvong/Naples Daily News
Jurors in the case against a Marco Island woman accused of killing her live-in boyfriend found her not guilty of second-degree murder Friday afternoon.
Lisa Troemner, 27, killed Trevor Smith, then 30, in their Park Avenue condominium in December 2014. Troemner told police and Collier County Sheriff’s Office detectives the couple had been arguing for at least two days leading up to the stabbing.
She faced a sentence of up to life in prison.
Friday marked the end of a four-week trial that featured nearly 200 pieces of evidence and testimony from more than 50 witnesses.
Jurors deliberated for about six hours between Thursday and Friday before returning their verdict around 1 p.m.
Before returning the verdict, jurors asked to review all the statements Troemner made to law enforcement the day of the killing. In one of the recordings, Troemner told detectives the couple had been arguing and that the day before the stabbing, Smith kicked down a door during one of their disputes.
After that incident, the couple went to sleep, and when they woke up, the arguments resumed, according to Troemner's statements. She said she was worried Smith would choke her because he had done so before, according to the recordings. Then she stabbed him.
Troemner also told detectives she knew he would not have hurt her but that she ended up stabbing him.
Jurors also asked to look at the door again, then said they didn't need to because they had photos of the damaged door.
After the jury was dismissed, Judge Christine Greider told Troemner she was discharged from custody. She had been held at the Naples Jail Center since her 2014 arrest.
"Thank you, your honor," Troemner said.
Assistant state attorneys Katherine Rumley and Jennifer Brown argued in their case that Troemner “snapped” from the repeated arguments and stabbed Smith in their bedroom.
Defense attorney Donald Day said Troemner suffered from battered spouse syndrome and she acted in self-defense. Day argued that the couple’s arguments were sometimes physical and that Smith choked Troemner a few times.
Prosecutors countered that Troemner could be the abusive one — that she belittled Smith, was jealous and controlling and once put out a lit cigarette on his forehead.
Troemner was charged with second-degree murder, but jurors were instructed that they could also consider two other potential verdicts: manslaughter and justified use of deadly force, known informally as stand-your-ground.
After the court clerk read the verdict aloud, Smith’s family members comforted each other over the unexpected trial conclusion.
“What happened?” they asked each other. “How did this happen?”
Brown and Rumley said they appreciated the jury’s efforts.
“We understand we took them away from their lives and families,” Brown said. “We respect their verdict.”
Smith’s family and friends filed into the State Attorney’s Office at the Collier County Courthouse after the verdict was read. The prosecutors said the family declined to comment about the verdict.
Brown and Rumley said they would talk the Smiths through their difficult time.
“We’ll do anything they need,” Brown said.
Previous coverage in the trial of Lisa Troemner
- Jury gets case of Marco woman who fatally stabbed boyfriend
- Texts show boyfriend's drinking angered Marco woman now on trial
- Trial witness: Texts didn't indicate stabbed Marco man was abusive
- Defense experts: Lisa Troemner suffers from battered spouse syndrome
- Lisa Troemner in defense: 'I thought that he was going to kill me'
- Medical examiner in Lisa Troemner trial: 'There was a considerable amount of blood'
- Friends of stabbed Marco man testify his girlfriend was angry, 'jealous'