STREET. LOUIS (AP) — The former star of the St. Louis-based reality television show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for organizing the shooting death of his nephew to collect a life insurance payment.
James «Tim» Norman did not speak on his own behalf at the sentencing hearing for the murder of his 21-year-old nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr. in March 2016. Both men had starred in the long-running OWN reality show about the soul of the family. food business in the St. Louis area.
Norman’s lawyers produced several letters from family and friends asking for leniency, including from Norman’s mother and founder of Sweetie Pie’s restaurants, Robbie Montgomery.
«I don’t know if Tim did what he was charged and convicted of,» wrote Robbie Montgomery, who is also the victim’s grandmother. «He is still the baby I gave birth to, and I love him like all the mothers involved love his child.»
Prosecutors said Norman took out a $450,000 life insurance policy on Montgomery and arranged for him to be lured to a street in St. Louis where he was shot by another man.
Several members of Andre Montgomery’s family, including his mother, Michell Griggs, called for Norman to be sentenced to life in prison, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch informed. US District Judge John A. Ross sentenced him to two life terms, calling it «an incredibly premeditated, cold-blooded, planned execution of his nephew.»
Norman was convicted in September of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, murder for hire and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Travell Anthony Hill admitted that he shot Montgomery in exchange for $5,000. Hill, 31, of St. Louis, was sentenced in October to 32 years in prison. Terica Taneisha Ellis, now 39, of Memphis, Tennessee, was sentenced to three years in prison after admitting that Norman paid him $10,000 to find Montgomery and tell Hill his location.
A fourth person, insurance agent Waiel “Wally” Rebhi Yaghnam, was sentenced to three years in prison for helping Norman fraudulently apply for various insurance policies and file a claim on Montgomery’s life insurance policy.