ST. Louis St. Louis — A St. Louis jury Friday found the former St. Louis reality TV star James “Tim” Norman guilty of being a conspirator to kill his nephew.
Norman 43-year-old Norman was found guilty of all charges when the jury deliberated 17 hours. He was found guilty of two federal murder-for hire counts as well as one for conspiracy mail and wire fraud.
Norman orchestrated the murder in 2016 of his nephew 21 years old, Andre Montgomery, then attempted to withdraw up to $450,000 in an untrue life insurance policy he bought out on Montgomery around 18 months prior to the murder, the jury ruled.
Norman as well as his son appeared in “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” the long-running OWN reality show that focuses on the popular soul food business Robbie Montgomery — Norman’s mother and Andre’s grandma -was the founder of in St. Louis. St. Louis area.
The verdict on Friday will conclude an appeal that’s been attracting the attention of the nation for many years.
The Assistant United States Attorney Angie Danis provided evidence in closing arguments in defense attorneys that Norman started the plot to murder in the hope of winning a reward.
“Not only did he know, he was the architect of this plan,” Danis stated. “This plan doesn’t exist but for Tim Norman’s greed.”
Norman’s defense lawyer Michael Leonard responded in his closing remarks to the fact that the murder plot that was described by the prosecutors was the result of a “made up theory.”
“The picture from everyone in this case was that he was a man of character,” Leonard declared.
Prosecutors claimed that on the day of the shooting that Norman gave $10,000 to a dancer Terica Ellis, in order to trace the location of his nephew. They also accuse Norman of utilizing his friend to make payments of $55,000 to shooter Travell Anthony Hill, following the murder of Montgomery.
Ellis and Hill both testified for the prosecution. Ellis and Hill were witnesses for the prosecution.
“The defendant saw his opportunity to cash in and he tried,” Danis claimed. “He had his own nephew executed.”
Norman made the uncommon choice for an accused criminal to stand in the defense of himself in the last day of testimonies on Tuesday.
He said to the jury that the jury that he had requested Hill Ellis and Hill Ellis to track down an opportunity to confront him over an alleged burglary at the home of his mother but he said he had never paid the two or requested that they harm his nephew.
Norman admitted that around 18 months prior to the murder He brought Montgomery back to St. Louis, paid his rent, and then enrolled Montgomery in musical school. He also said that he stopped paying him financially when Montgomery had stopped working and went to school.
The defense cited the former employees of Sweetie Pie, as well as other character witnesses who claimed that Norman was close to his brother.
Leonard doubted the credibility of the evidence from Norman’s supposed co-conspirators, and claimed that Ellis was compelled to testify for the shortest sentence.
“In making life’s most important decisions would you make that based upon a stripper who said she looked in your face and lied to you?” Leonard stated.
He also said his belief that shooter Hill who, according to prosecutors described as Norman’s “hired gun,” said: “Nobody else should be accountable for my actions, but me. I admired Tim as an instructor.”
Hill said he purchased an assault weapon and killed Montgomery after being informed by a friend that Norman was willing to pay to have him killed.
Hill claimed he was compensated $5,000 following the murder by a different man, Darryl Howard, who admitted to having made the payment under Norman’s instructions.
Leonard pointed out that Hill admitted to being an avid user of drugs at the time, and at the time was “hopped up on drugs that day.”
In her response the prosecutor Danis advised jurors not to take Norman’s testimony as gospel.
“The defendant sat up there for four hours and spun tales because that’s what he does,” Danis declared. “There’s about 45 reasons why you can’t trust a word this man says.”
Danis said that all evidence from the alleged conspirators was supported in the trial by text messages as well as call records and information about the location.
“He scripted a show to portray an image of wealth and success that wasn’t real,” Danis stated. She added that Norman in the trial, made “an image of being a mentor and a father figure to all these people, but it’s fiction.”