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Domestic abuse issue surfaced in acquittal of woman on trial for murder

Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 18:29:36-05

The issue of domestic abuse played a key role in a Marco Island woman's acquittal last week in a high-profile murder case. Lisa Troemner, 27, stabbed her boyfriend to death in December 2014. During her trial, Troemner's attorney argued that his client suffered from battered spouse syndrome. 

It was three years ago when Troemner walked to a 7-Eleven covered in blood, and told the clerk she had just killed someone. She then led police to the condo she shared with Trevor Smith, 30, where they found his body in a bedroom.

Troemner told detectives that she and Smith had been arguing for days, before things finally spun out of control. She said she feared for her safety, and that she kept the knife by her when they went to bed. When they woke up in the middle of the night, she said Smith began yelling at her again. She said she was worried he would choke her because he had so before. 

"There are many reasons that women stay in domestic violence relationships," said Linda Oberhaus, CEO of the Shelter For Abused Women and Children of Naples. "It's a process getting into a domestic violence relationship, and it's also a process to get out of that relationship."

Oberhaus said volatile relationships like Troemner and Smith's aren't uncommon, but that fatal outcomes are becoming more rare, thanks to the increase in domestic abuse shelters.

"Victims have the ability now to get safe shelter, where in the past they haven't," Oberhaus said. 

She said anyone in an abusive relationship - male or female - should call Florida's domestic violence hotline at 1-800-500-1119.