A former reality star and restaurateur, is accused of paying someone to kill his teenage nephew to cash in on a life insurance policy. The FBI arrested James Timothy Norman on federal conspiracy charges on Tuesday (Aug. 18)
Norman and his alleged cohort, Terica Ellis, conspired in a murder-for-hire plot, according to the criminal complaint. In 2014, Norman took out a $250,000 life insurance policy on his 18-year-old nephew, Andre Montgomery. Authorities claim Norman, who was the policy’s sole beneficiary, paid the premiums out of his bank account. He allegedly attempted an additional $200,000 life insurance policy but the application was denied.
Montgomery was gunned down on March 14, 2016. Four days earlier, Ellis, an exotic dancer, emailed Montgomery, “I’m on my way in town.” Norman arrived in St. Louis from Los Angeles on the morning that Montgomery was killed. The documents alleges that Norman and Ellis corresponded on two temporary cell phones activated the day of the homicide. “These phones communicated consistently throughout the day of the homicide, and both were deactivated and ceased activity on March 15, 2016, the day after the homicide.”
Per the affidavit, Montgomery received a phone call and stepped outside where he was shot to death moments later. “The forensic examination of Montgomery’s phone, and subsequent investigation, revealed that the two people he spoke to within the 10 minutes prior to his death were his friends, K.T., and Terrace Ellis.”
The investigation revealed that Montgomery texted his address to Ellis, who allegedly phoned Norman less than an hour before the teen was killed. In the days after Montgomery’s death, Ellis deposited over $9,000 into various bank accounts, including a newly-opened savings account.
One week after the murder, Norman allegedly attempted to collect on the life insurance police but was turned down for “failure to provide several requested documents.”
Norman is being held without bail at the Madison County Detention Center. The 41-year-old is best known for starring alongside his mother, Robbie Montgomery, in the OWN series, Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, which ended in 2018. Norman and his mother opened a string of Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s restaurants in St. Louis, and Southern California, many of which were closed down.