‘Sweetie Pie’ star James Norman found guilty in nephew’s murder

A federal jury on Friday convicted a former star of the St. Louis-based reality TV show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie” of arranging for the shooting murder of his nephew.

The jury deliberated for nearly 17 hours for three days before reaching its verdict in the murder case against St. Louis Post-Dispatch James “Tim” Norman. informed of, He was charged with murder for hire, murder for hire, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Norman and his nephew, Andre Montgomery, both starred on the long-running OWN reality show about a popular soul-food business founded in the St. Louis area by Robbie Montgomery—Norman’s mother and Andre’s grandmother.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty but Norman could face a life sentence. Sentencing is set for December 15.

Federal prosecutors said Norman, 43, hired two men to kill Montgomery, 21, on March 14, 2016, then try to cash in on a $450,000 life insurance policy he had taken on his nephew months earlier.

Defense attorney Michael Leonard said after the verdict that he and Norman were “extremely shocked and disappointed by the outcome” of the case. They said they plan to appeal and Norman remains optimistic that he will eventually win.

Leonard said the testimony during the trial of the two co-conspirators was “extremely unreliable.” And he said that Norman testified well during the trial, noting that he was not cross-examined.

US Attorney Cylor Fleming said she was “very, very happy” with the verdict, but that her office would No further statement until after sentencing,

James Norman
Former star of the reality TV show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie” James Norman was convicted of arranging for the shooting death of his nephew.
David Carson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File

During the closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Angie Dennis stated that Norman was the architect of the plan to kill Montgomery.

“This plan does not exist, but for the greed of Tim Norman,” Dennis said.

Leonard argued in his closing argument that the murder plot presented by prosecutors was a “constructed theory”.

Prosecutors said Norman paid an exotic dancer, Terrika Ellis, $10,000 to lure her nephew to the site where he was shot and $5,000 to traveler Anthony Hill to shoot Montgomery. was.

Both Ellis and Hill testified for the prosecution in the case. Both of them have confessed to being involved in the scheme.

In testimony during the trial, Norman said he helped his nephew move to St. Louis for about 18 months before he was killed and supported him financially as he was trying to see Montgomery. He said that he wanted to be a “father figure” to his brother’s son.

the former Sweetie Pie’s Staff And other character witnesses testified that Norman and his nephew had a close relationship.

Dennis said all testimony from the plan’s co-conspirators was supported at trial by text, call records and location data.

She said that Norman “created an image of being a mentor and a father figure to all these people, but that’s fiction.”

Leonard said during his closing argument that Ellis testified to receive a short sentence, adding that Hill admitted he was a heavy drug user and that he “stabbed on drugs that day.”

Norman testified on Tuesday that he took life insurance policy Vayal Rebhi Yagyanam, a longtime customer of the family restaurant on his nephew, to give some business.

Yagyam had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit hired murder and wire fraud in the case in July.

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 the jurors that he and his mother had hired a private investigator to find and confront their nephew about the robbery but that she had no intention of hurting him.

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