The former participant in the St. Louis-based reality television programme “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” was given a life sentence on Thursday for planning the shooting death of his nephew to collect a life insurance payout.
James “Tim” At the sentencing hearing for the March 2016 murder of his 21-year-old nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr., Norman remained silent. Both guys have appeared in the popular OWN reality series about the family’s St. Louis-area soul food restaurant.
Norman’s counsel provided a number of letters from loved ones and friends pleading for forgiveness, including one from Norman’s mother, Robbie Montgomery, who is also the creator of the Sweetie Pie eateries.
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“I don’t know whether Tim did what he was accused and convicted of,” wrote Robbie Montgomery, who is also the victim’s grandmother. “He is still the baby that I bore, and I love him as every mother involved loves their child.”
According to the prosecution, Norman obtained a $450,000 life insurance policy on Montgomery and planned to lead him to a street in St. Louis, where a second man shot him.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, some members of Andre Montgomery’s family, including his mother, Michell Griggs, requested that Norman receive a life sentence. John A. Ross, a federal district judge, sentenced him to two life terms, calling it “a cold-blooded, incredibly premeditated, planned execution of your nephew.”
In September, Norman was found guilty of conspiring to conduct murder for pay, murder for hire, and fraud conspiracy. Travell Anthony Hill acknowledged shooting Montgomery for $5,000.
Hill, 31, of St. Louis, was given a 32-year prison term in October. Terica Taneisha Ellis, now 39, of Memphis, Tennessee, was given a three-year jail term after pleading guilty to accepting $10,000 from Norman in exchange for finding Montgomery and informing Hill of his whereabouts.
A fourth person, insurance agent Waiel “Wally” Rebhi Yaghnam received a three-year prison term for assisting Norman in making fictitious insurance claims on Montgomery’s life insurance and other policies.