'Welcome to Sweetie Pie's' Star James 'Tim' Norman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Arranging Nephew's Murder

James "Tim" Norman was found guilty last September for his role in the fatal shooting of his nephew, 20-year-old Andre Montgomery Jr. in 2016

James Timothy Norman
James "Tim" Norman .

Welcome to Sweetie Pie's star James "Tim" Norman was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for his role in a murder-for-hire plot that led to the shooting death of his nephew in 2016, authorities said.

Norman, 43, was found guilty last September of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Andre Montgomery Jr. on March 14, 2016, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of Missouri.

Norman appeared with Montgomery on OWN Network's Welcome to Sweetie Pie's — which documented their family's soul-food business — for nine seasons from 2011 to 2018.

Norman arranged his nephew's murder through intermediaries in an attempt to cash out on a $450,000 fraudulent life insurance policy that he took out on Montgomery in 2014, prosecutors said.

"Tim Norman portrayed one image to the public, but there were more sinister intentions lurking underneath," Assistant U.S. Attorney Angie Danis said during Thursday's sentencing hearing, per the press release.

"And the measure of someone's character is what they do when they think no one is watching," Danis added. "When he thought no one was watching, he planned the execution of his nephew and carried it out."

Last week, Norman went on social media to maintain his innocence.

"I'm still in disbelief. The feds knew 100% I did not do those insurance policies. But the jury didn't get to hear that," Norman wrote in a Feb. 23 Instagram post captioned "#innocent."

The life insurance policy included "numerous false statements regarding Montgomery's income, net worth, medical history, employment and family background," an earlier press release stated.

Norman also had three co-defendants: Travell Anthony Hill, Terica Ellis, and Waiel "Wally" Rebhi Yaghnam, all of whom have pleaded guilty in connection with the murder-for-hire conspiracy.

In October 2022, Hill, of St. Louis, was sentenced to 32 years in prison after admitting he fatally shot Montgomery with a .380-caliber handgun after being told of his location by a woman who knew both Montgomery and Norman, authorities said. Hill, now 31, was later paid $5,000.

andre montgomery
Andre Montgomery Jr. OWN

That woman was identified as Ellis, now 39, who confessed that Norman paid her $10,000 to find Montgomery and pass on his location, authorities said. Ellis reportedly said she knew Norman was going to take some form of action, but she did not know Montgomery would be shot.

Ellis was sentenced in January 2023 to three years in prison.

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A fourth person, insurance agent Waiel "Wally" Rebhi Yaghnam, was sentenced to three years in prison last November, prosecutors said. Yaghnam was accused of helping Norman take out multiple insurance policies beginning in October 2014.

Those policies include a life insurance policy for $250,000 through Americo Insurance Company, as well as two different policies through Foresters Insurance for $200,000 and $250,000, per a criminal complaint obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In 2015, Norman attempted to obtain a replacement policy through Foresters Insurance, but was denied, according to the complaint.

Following Montgomery's death, Yaghnam then helped Norman file a claim on Montgomery's life insurance policy, authorities said.

Norman was arrested on federal charges and was booked into the Madison County Detention Center in August 2020, WLBT reported.

"Although Andre's family was robbed of their loved one, hopefully this result will provide some measure of peace and justice for them," U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming said in a press release.

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