A star of the OWN series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” has been charged by federal authorities in an alleged murder-for-hire plot against his 18-year-old nephew.
James Timothy Norman, 41, who appeared on the reality series about the family-owned restaurant, was charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire plot with an exotic dancer named Terica Ellis, according to a federal complaint summarized in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Missouri.
Norman’s nephew Andre Montgomery was shot and killed on March 14, 2016. According to the release, Norman is accused of obtaining a $450,000 life insurance policy on his nephew, which listed himself as the sole beneficiary. After doing so, Norman and the exotic dancer allegedly traveled to St. Louis, Mo., separately. Montgomery was in St. Louis at the time.
On March 14, Norman and Ellis activated temporary phones that they used to communicate with each other throughout the day. Ellis also used the phone to communicate with Montgomery to obtain his location in the city. Later that day, Montgomery was shot and killed.
“Ellis’s phone location information places her in the vicinity of the murder at the time of the homicide. Immediately following Montgomery’s murder, Ellis placed a call to Norman, and then began traveling to Memphis, Tennessee,” the release states.
In the days following Montgomery’s murder, Norman placed $9,000 in cash to various bank accounts in which Ellis had access. People reports that the dancer had a negative balance on her account prior to March 14.
One week after his nephew’s death, Norman attempted to collect on the life insurance policy but was unable to produce the necessary documents. He made several more attempts but was still unable to obtain the money.
Ellis was also charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, resulting in death.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section and FBI are investigating the charges. U.S. Attorney Jeff Jenson called it an “extensive investigation.”