This sounds more like an episode of a television crime drama than the real-life story of one of TV’s favorite family reality shows. One of the stars of “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network has been convicted of murdering his 21-year-old nephew, Andre Montgomery, over a $450,000 life insurance policy.
James “Tim” Norman appeared on “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” with Miss Robbie — Montgomery’s grandmother and Norman’s mom–and Montgomery. “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” is about Norman’s popular soul food restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri. The series premiered on October 15, 2011, and ended on June 9, 2018.
On Sept.16 he was found guilty by a jury of setting up his nephew’s murder. He was convicted of three counts — murder-for-hire, conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud — after the jury deliberated for about 17 hours over three days, TMZ reported.
Norman was arrested by feds who accused him of arranging the killing of Montgomery, who was shot and killed on March 14, 2016. Norman tried to cash a $450,000 life insurance policy taken out on his nephew after working with an exotic dancer named Terica Ellis to arrange the murder. According to prosecutors, Norman paid $10,000 to Ellis to lure his nephew to the site where he was shot and paid $5,000 to a man named Travel Anthony Hill to shoot Montgomery, The New York Post reported.
Ellis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. Ellis and Hill,, who also pleaded guilty, both testified for the prosecution in the case.
Ellis said Norman created “an image of being a mentor and a father figure to all these people, but it’s fiction.”
Norman could face up to life in prison on December 15 when he’s sentenced.
During the trial, Norman testified that he took out the life insurance policy on his nephew to give a longtime customer of the family restaurants, Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, some business. But there may be more behind the killing than Norman wanting to cash in on the insurance policy. Montgomery left St. Louis after at least $220,000 in cash, jewelry, and other items were stolen in a June 2015 burglary at Robbie Montgomery’s home. Norman told jurors he and his mother hired a private investigator to find and confront his nephew about the robbery, but he had no intention of hurting him, The New York Post reported.