Reality star convicted in murder-for-hire death of nephew

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A Mississippi man who appeared on a 2010s OWN reality show about a St. Louis soul food restaurant owned by his mother hired two people to murder his nephew, then tried to cash a $450,000 life insurance policy.

James “Tim” Norman, 43, was convicted Friday on two federal murder-for-hire counts and one charge of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud for the 2016 death of his nephew, 21-year-old Andre Montgomery, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Norman, whose mother owned the restaurant highlighted in “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” paid an exotic dancer, Terica Ellis, $10,000 to lure his nephew to a location and then another $5,000 to Travell Anthony Hill to shoot Montgomery, according to prosecutors.

Then, prosecutors said, Norman tried to cash the life insurance he had taken out for Montgomery just months earlier.

Both Ellis and Hill testified against Norman.

Norman took the stand in his own defense, insisting that he had a close relationship with his nephew and that he had hired Ellis and Hill to question him about a burglary at his mother’s house, during which $220,000 in cash, jewelry and other items were stolen in June 2015.

He also claimed that the life insurance policy, filed just months before Montgomery’s shooting death, was taken out as a favor to a friend, Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, a life insurance agent who needed business.

Yaghnam took the Fifth during the trial, but pleaded guilty this summer to a wire fraud charge, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Norman faces up to life in prison at his sentencing in December after prosecutors decided not to pursue the death penalty.

“Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” which premiered in 2011, followed Robbie Montgomery, Norman’s mother and Montgomery’s grandmother, and her family “as they work to expand their empire, one soulful dish at a time,” according to OWN. It ran for nine seasons before being canceled in 2018.



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