A Missouri judge has sentenced former Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s star Timothy Norman to life in federal prison for arranging the killing of his nephew.
The sentencing on Thursday comes after Norman’s September conviction on charges of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Judge John A Ross said the evidence against Norman was “overwhelming,” according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
Norman hired two people to kill 21-year-old Andre Montgomery on 14 March 2016, having taken out a $450,000 life insurance a year before. The disgraced reality TV star and his nephew both starred in the long-running OWN show about a soul-food business founded by Robbie Montgomery – Norman’s mother and Montgomery’s grandmother.
“It was a cold-blooded, incredibly premeditated, planned execution of your nephew,” Judge Ross said, ignoring requests from Norman’s mother for leniency towards him.
Norman has denied hiring the man who killed his nephew. Last week, he took to Instagram to maintain his innocence, saying that his name “has been destroyed.”
“Thank you for all the prayers. I’m still in disbelief. The feds know 100% I did not do those insurance policies,” he wrote in the post. “But the jury didn’t hear that. And not one person got on the stand and said that I told them to hurt my nephew. They destroyed my name and image so you guys wouldn’t search for the truth.”
In 2014, when Montgomery was 18, prosecutors say Mr Norman obtained the life insurance policy on his nephew that listed Norman as the sole beneficiary.
Two years later, Mr Norman allegedly conspired with a woman, Terica Ellis, in the killing, according to the US attorney’s office in St Louis.
The attorney’s office said last year that in the days leading up to Montgomery’s murder, Ellis, of Memphis, Tennessee, lured Montgomery in and told him that she was planning to be in St Louis. Ellis’s phone location information placed her in the vicinity of the murder at the time of the homicide.
Prosecutors argued that Norman paid Ellis $10,000 and gave another $5,000 to Travell Anthony Hill to shoot Montgomery dead.
A week after the killing, Mr Norman contacted the life insurance company to try to collect on his nephew’s policy, prosecutors said. He told investigators that he had hired Ellis and Hill to find Montgomery.
Ellis was sentenced to three years in prison in January, the Post-Dispatch reported. Hill was sentenced to 32 years after pleading guilty to two murder-for-hire counts.