James Timothy Norman, owner of Sweetie Pie’s restaurant made famous by the OWN reality show of the same namesake, was arrested today on federal charges and is currently being held in the Madison County Detention Center.
James has been charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities (i.e. his cell phone) to commision a murder-for-hire that resulted in the death of his nephew.
According to the complaint, Norman, Terica Ellis and others conspired to commit a murder-for-hire in exchange for money.
Federal authorities allege that in 2014, Norman obtained a $450,000 life insurance policy on his 18-year-old nephew, Andre Montgomery. Norman was the sole beneficiary.
In the days leading up to Montgomery’s murder, Ellis told Montgomery that she was coming to St. Louis. On March 13, 2016, the day before Montgomery’s murder, Norman flew to St. Louis, Missouri from his home in Los Angeles, California.
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 location. Immediately after learning Montgomery’s location, Ellis placed a call to Norman.
Around 8:00 p.m. that same day, Montgomery was shot and killed. Ellis’s phone location information places her in the area of the murder at time of the shooting.
Immediately following Montgomery’s murder, Ellis placed a call to Norman, and then began travelling to Memphis, Tennessee. In the days after the murder, Ellis deposited over $9,000 in cash into various bank accounts.
On March 21, 2016, Norman contacted the life insurance company in an attempt to collect on the life insurance policy he had obtained on his nephew.
Terica Ellis was also charged by complaint 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating these charges.
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