ST. LOUIS — The son of Robbie Montgomery, reality TV star and owner of Sweetie Pie’s, is accused of facilitating a murder-for-hire plot against his nephew in an attempt to collect the nephew’s life insurance money.
James Timothy Norman, 41, of Jackson, Mississippi, was arrested Tuesday, one week after being charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire, resulting in death.
The nephew, Andre Montgomery, was Robbie Montgomery’s grandson. Her show, “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” aired for five seasons starting in 2011 on OWN. She is a former backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner.
Both Norman and Andre Montgomery appeared on “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.” Robbie Montgomery sued Norman in 2016, claiming his operation of three Sweetie Pie’s restaurants was a copyright infringement.
Andre Montgomery was fatally shot March 14, 2016, near Fairground Park.
Prosecutors say Norman conspired with a woman, Terica Ellis, of Memphis, Tennessee, in Montgomery’s murder. In 2014, when Montgomery was 18, prosecutors say Norman obtained a $450,000 life insurance policy on his nephew, and Norman was the sole beneficiary.
In the day’s leading up to Montgomery’s death, Norman flew to St. Louis from his home in Los Angeles, and Ellis traveled to St. Louis from her home in Memphis, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
On the day of the murder, Ellis used a temporary phone to determine Montgomery’s location, then she immediately placed a call to Norman, prosecutors say.
Ellis’ phone location placed her near Montgomery at the time of his death, according to the complaint. Immediately following the murder, Ellis placed another call, then began traveling back to Memphis.
Ellis later deposited more than $9,000 in cash into various bank accounts, prosecutors say. A week after the killing, Norman contacted the life insurance company in an attempt to collect on his nephew’s policy.
Ellis was charged in July with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire, resulting in death.
The criminal case is part of Operation LeGend, which has brought 50 federal agents to St. Louis to combat violent crime. The initiative was named for a 4-year-old boy who was shot and killed in June in Kansas City.
Updated at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday to include that both Norman and Andre Montgomery were connected to Sweetie Pie’s.
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