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Byers' Beat: Latest indictment in murder-for-hire plot involving Sweetie Pie's restaurant empire includes alleged shooter

Sources tell 5 On Your Side Travell Hill appeared in rap video with the man who hired him to kill Andre Montgomery two weeks after the murder

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Seventeen days after police believe Travell Hill shot and killed the grandson of famed Sweetie Pie’s restaurant owner Miss Robbie, he appeared in a rap video with the man police believe hired him to do the killing. 

Sources tell 5 On Your Side James “Tim” Norman paid Hill $5,000 to shoot and kill his nephew, Andre Montgomery, 21, near Fairground Park on March 14, 2016 so Norman could collect a $450,000 life insurance policy.

Norman and his mother, Robbie Montgomery, starred in a reality series known as Sweetie Pies that aired for five seasons on the Own Network. In one episode, Norman accompanies his mother to the scene of his nephew’s killing appearing to be mourning with her.

But court documents released this week reveal more about Hill’s connection to the case as well as how Norman was telling people his nephew “ain’t going to be around much longer,” months before the murder.

In text messages Norman sent to insurance agent, now co-defendant, Waiel Rebid Yaghnam Sept. 23, 2015, Norman wrote: “He might not make it six months bro. Not kidding.”

Yaghnam responded: “Damn.”

Perhaps some of his predictions stemmed from a burglary at Miss Robbie’s house in June 2015.

Norman accused his nephew of doing it, and told at least one person, Terica Ellis that his friends wanted to “get up” on Montgomery because of the burglary, according to the testimony of a St. Louis homicide detective. Ellis is an exotic dancer Norman had dated. She’s also since been charged for her role in the murder – which police say included luring Montgomery out of his house.

In the 22 minutes after she got Montgomery’s address, she called, tried to call and texted Hill five times.

She met Montgomery at his house at 8 p.m.

He was shot at 8:02 p.m.

She started driving to her home in Tennessee and called Norman at 8:03 p.m., according to court documents.

Two days later, Hill talked about Montgomery’s murder with his brother, who was in jail, during a recorded phone call.

“The defendant did all of this for his own financial gain, then laughed about it two days later with his brother on recorded jail calls,” according to court documents.

Exactly how Norman knew Hill is unclear.

RELATED: Sweetie Pie's reality show star pleads not guilty to charges in murder-for-hire plot

Sources tell 5 On Your Side Hill was affiliated with a neighborhood gang that used to hang out near one of the Sweetie Pie’s restaurants.

Court documents show Hill and his brother were part of a group of people who went to Los Angeles in June 2015 to film a music video with Norman. The trip was "largely funded" by Norman, according to the documents.

The video of the song dubbed “Loud,” was published to YouTube on March 31, 2016. Hill can be seen three times in it wearing a red St. Louis Cardinals hat.

In one scene, he’s dancing solo to the camera as Norman’s voice is played.

In the two others, he’s dancing among a crowd on the left of the frame, his red cap bobbing up and down to the beat behind the crowd.

He maintained a relatively low profile on paper following the killing from what I can tell in court records.

He had a few marijuana convictions in 2018.

He was sentenced to five years of probation.

It’s been revoked since his arrest on Nov. 6 for his role in the murder.

As for that burglary at his mother’s house that Norman accused his nephew of doing?

A St. Louis County police report obtained by 5 On Your Side shows police eliminated him as a suspect just days before he was killed.

During his voluntary interview and polygraph with a detective, Montgomery was asked who he believed burglarized the house.

He named his uncle.

“I explained that Norman was in California at the time of the burglary; however, he believed that Norman has the influence to set up the burglary and have someone else break in at his direction. I asked Montgomery why Norman would steal the money and other items from his mother since he would likely inherit her estate, to which he advised he heard she was removing his name from some of the business adventures.”

Four days later, Montgomery was dead.

And not long after that, Hill was dancing in his red Cardinals hat.

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