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‘Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s’ star, 3 others indicted by federal grand jury in murder-for-hire plot

Andre Montgomery was shot and killed in March 2016
Credit: Madison County Detention Center
James Timothy "Tim" Norman, 41, was charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire resulting in death

ST. LOUIS — A federal grand jury indicted four people in connection with the 2016 murder of Andre Montgomery.

Montgomery is the grandson of Sweetie Pie's owner Robbie Montgomery.

Montgomery was killed by gunfire at 3964 Natural Bridge Avenue in the City of St. Louis on March 14, 2016 around 8 p.m.

On Thursday, James Timothy Norman, Terica Taneisha Ellis, Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam and Travell Anthony Hill were indicted.

Norman was on the reality TV show 'Welcome to Sweetie Pie's' and Montgomery was his nephew. 

Norman, Ellis and Hill are charged with conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for hire resulting in the death of Montgomery. Norman and Yaghnam are charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and Yaghnam is charged with five counts of aggravated identity theft all in connection with Montgomery’s murder-for-hire.

According to the indictment and court documents, Norman conspired with Ellis, Hill and others to use a cellphone to commit a murder-for-hire in exchange for United States currency. In 2014, Norman obtained a total of $450,000 in life insurance proceeds on Montgomery, on which Norman was the sole beneficiary. 

The day Montgomery died, Norman and Ellis bought and activated temporary cellphones at the same store and then communicated on them all day. Court documents said Ellis also used the cellphone to communicate with Montgomery and learn where he was for the purpose of luring him outside.

Immediately after learning Montgomery’s location, Ellis placed a call to Norman and relayed the address to him and Hill.

Montgomery was then shot and killed.

Ellis’ phone location information placed her in the vicinity of the murder at time of the homicide. After the murder, Ellis called Norman and began traveling to Memphis.

In the days after the murder, Ellis deposited over $9,000 in cash into various bank accounts. Hill received a cash payment of $5,000 at the direction of Norman. That same day Hill engaged in a recorded phone conversation with an individual in jail and discussed Montgomery’s murder and his payment. On March 18, 2016, Norman contacted the life insurance company to try to collect on the life insurance policy he had obtained on his nephew.

According to court documents, Norman and Yaghnam submitted three separate life insurance applications beginning in October 2014. All applications contained numerous false statements regarding Montgomery’s income, net worth, medical history, employment and family background.

In the life insurance policy that was ultimately issued, Norman obtained a $200,000 policy, as well as a $200,000 accidental death rider that would pay out in the event that Montgomery died of something other than natural causes, and a $50,000 10 year-term rider that would pay out if Montgomery died within 10 years of the policy’s issuance in 2014.

“This murder-for-hire cold case from 2016 demonstrates once again the power of law enforcement partnership and persistence,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard Quinn of the FBI St. Louis Division. “By combining resources and expertise, the FBI and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department overcame numerous challenges to uncover the details of this plot.”

The arrests of Norman, Ellis and Hill are part of Operation LeGend which is a federal partnership with local law enforcement to address the increase in homicides and violent crime in St. Louis this year.

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