Prosecutors won’t seek death penalty in case involving Sweetie Pie’s star

ST. LOUIS — Federal prosecutors won’t seek the death penalty in the murder-for-hire case involving Sweetie Pie’s star James Timothy Norman.

Norman is the son of Sweetie Pie’s owner Robbie Montgomery. “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” was a reality show that ran on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Earlier this month, Norman, Terica Taneisha Ellis, Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, and Travell Anthony Hill were indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the 2016 murder of Andre Montgomery.

Montgomery was fatally shot in the 3900 block of Natural Bridge Ave in St. Louis on March 14, 2016, around 8 p.m. Andre is the grandson of Robbie.

Norman, Ellis, and Hill are charged with conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire resulting in the death of Montgomery.

Norman and Yaghnam are charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and Yaghnam is charged with five counts of aggravated identity theft all in connection with Montgomery’s murder-for-hire.

According to court documents filed on Nov. 25, prosecutors won’t seek the death penalty against Norman or Ellis.

The documents said the death penalty analysis for Hill is pending, which is standard procedure.

MONTGOMERY’S MURDER

According to the indictment and court documents, Norman conspired with Ellis, Hill, and others to use a cellphone to commit a murder-for-hire in exchange for United States currency. In 2014, Norman obtained a total of $450,000 in life insurance proceeds on Montgomery, on which Norman was the sole beneficiary.

The day Montgomery died, Norman and Ellis bought and activated temporary cellphones at the same store and then communicated on them all day. Court documents said Ellis also used the cellphone to communicate with Montgomery and learn where he was for the purpose of luring him outside.

Immediately after learning Montgomery’s location, Ellis placed a call to Norman and relayed the address to him and Hill.

Montgomery was then shot and killed.

Ellis’ phone location information placed her in the vicinity of the murder at the time of the homicide. After the murder, Ellis called Norman and began traveling to Memphis.

In the days after the murder, Ellis deposited over $9,000 in cash into various bank accounts. Hill received a cash payment of $5,000 at the direction of Norman. That same day Hill engaged in a recorded phone conversation with an individual in jail and discussed Montgomery’s murder and his payment. On March 18, 2016, Norman contacted the life insurance company to try to collect on the life insurance policy he had obtained on his nephew.

According to court documents, Norman and Yaghnam submitted three separate life insurance applications beginning in October 2014. All applications contained numerous false statements regarding Montgomery’s income, net worth, medical history, employment, and family background.

In the life insurance policy that was ultimately issued, Norman obtained a $200,000 policy, as well as a $200,000 accidental death rider that would payout in the event that Montgomery died of something other than natural causes, and a $50,000 10 year-term rider that would pay out if Montgomery died within 10 years of the policy’s issuance in 2014.