James Timothy Norman, the star of the former OWN reality TV show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” was arrested Tuesday on federal charges stemming from the 2016 killing of his 18-year-old nephew.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Norman stands charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire, resulting in death. The federal complaint says that in 2014, Norman took out a $450,000 life insurance policy on his nephew, Andre Montgomery, and listed himself as the sole beneficiary.
Norman, the son of Robbie Montgomery, the owner and proprietor of beloved St. Louis soul food restaurant Sweetie Pie’s, is accused of contacting an exotic dancer named Terica Ellis to arrange for Montgomery’s killing.
“On March 13, 2016, the day before Montgomery’s murder, Norman flew to St. Louis, Missouri from his home in Los Angeles, California,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “On March 14, 2016, Ellis and Norman communicated using temporary phones activated that day. Ellis also used the temporary phone to communicate with Montgomery and learn his physical location. Immediately after learning Montgomery’s location, Ellis placed a call to Norman. On March 14, 2016, at approximately 8:02 p.m., Montgomery was killed by gunfire at 3964 Natural Bridge Avenue in the City of St. Louis. Ellis’s phone location information places her in the vicinity of the murder at time of the homicide.”
A week after Montgomery was killed, authorities say Norman attempted to collect on the life insurance policy.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section and the FBI are currently investigating. Ellis is facing the same conspiracy charge as Norman.
According to WLBT, Norman is currently being held at the Madison County Detention Center. Efforts to identify his attorney or other representative were unsuccessful.
“Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” aired on OWN for nine seasons, from 2011-18, and won two NAACP Image Awards as best reality show. It focused on a St. Louis-area soul food restaurant run by Robbie Montogomery and her family.