We’re living in extremely strange times. And with 2020 being the year it has been, it’s hard for us to be shocked or surprised by much these days.
But this story about the family from OWN’s “Welcome to Sweetie Pies” is not only shocking, it’s downright disturbing.
According to PEOPLE, Tim Norman, whose real name is James Timothy Norman, one of the stars of the reality show and son to the founder of the St. Louis based Soul Food restaurant, was arrested after being accused of hiring someone to kill his 18-year-old nephew, Andre Montgomery.
Norman was arrested yesterday (Tuesday, August 18) and booked on federal charges at the Madison County Detention Center in Mississippi.
According to the criminal complaint, Norman allegedly conspired with Terica Ellis, an exotic dancer, to kill Montgomery in order to collect on the life insurance policy he had taken out on the teenager.
He was officially charged with using a cellphone to commission a murder for hire, which ultimately resulted in his nephew’s death.
According to WLBT, in 2014, Norman took out a $450,000 life insurance policy against Montgomery where he was the sole benefactor.
In the days leading up to Montgomery’s murder, Ellis told him that she was coming to St. Louis. On the day before his murder on March 13, 2016, Norman flew from St. Louis from his home in Los Angeles, California.
The day of Montgomery’s murder, March 14, 2016, both Ellis and Norman used a temporary phone, activated that day, to learn of Andre Montgomery’s location. Once she knew where he was, Ellis called Norman.
At around 8 pm on March 14, Montgomery was shot and killed. Ellis’ phone location information placed her in the area of the murder at the time of the shooting.
Immediately after Montgomery was shot, Ellis called Norman and began traveling to Memphis, Tennessee.
Between March 15 and 17, 2016, Ellis began depositing $9,000 in cash into various bank accounts, including a savings account opened the day after Montgomery’s death. According to the complaint, prior to the murder, Ellis’ checking account had a negative balance.
On March 21, 2016, Norman contacted the life insurance company in an attempt to collect the policy he had on his nephew. He was denied because he failed to produce the proper documents. The complaint states that despite several attempts to collect on the policy since Montgomery’s murder, Foresters has yet to pay out on the policy due to Norman’s failure to provide requested documents.
Terica Ellis was charged by complaint with conspiracy to use a cell phone (interstate commerce facilities) in commission of murder for hire, resulting in death.
PEOPLE reports that the complaint states, “There exists probable cause to believe that James Timothy Norman conspired with Terica Ellis and/or others known or unknown to investigators at this time to use a facility of interstate commerce, namely, a cellular telephone, to commit a murder-for-hire in exchange for United States currency.”
Norman took out several life insurance policies on Montgomery in 2014, with himself as the sole benefactor. They included one for $250,000 through Americo Insurance Company, in addition to two other policies through Foresters Insurance for $200,000 and $250,000.
In 2015, the year before Montgomery was murdered, Norman attempted to obtain a replace policy through Foresters Insurance but was denied.
According to a complaint, Norman was denied because, “The applications of all these policies contained numerous false statements regarding Montgomery’s income, occupation, and family history.”
According to WLBT, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are investigating the charges.