ST. LOUIS — The star of a reality show that was based on a St. Louis soul food restaurant has been accused in a murder-for-hire plot which resulted in the murder of his 21-year-old nephew back in 2016.
James, also known as Timothy Norman, is a son of Sweetie Pie's owner 'Miss Robbie' (Robbie Montgomery.) The victim, Andre Mongomery, is Miss Robbie's grandson.
Sweetie Pie's Upper Crust is located at 3643 Delmar Blvd. in the Grand Center neighborhood.
The story of Tim Norman has made national headlines over the week.
Below is everything we know, so far.
Tim Norman accused in murder-for-hire plot of nephew
On Aug. 18, James Timothy Norman, 41, was charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire resulting in death in connection with the March 2016 murder of 21-year-old Andre Montgomery. Terica Ellis, an exotic dancer from Memphis who investigators said was Norman's accomplice, was arrested and charged with the same crime.
Andre Montgomery's murder
Montgomery was killed by gunfire at 3964 Natural Bridge Avenue in the City of St. Louis on March 14, 2016 around 8 p.m.
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.
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. 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.
Andre on 'Welcome to Sweetie Pie's'
In an episode of the reality show, Miss Robbie remembered Andre. It showed the best moments from the show that featured Andre. In one clip, he thanked Miss Robbie for allowing him to move in with her and pushing him to graduate high school.
Family breaks down as they talk about Andre's murder.
Andre’s high school graduation was featured on the show. He graduated in 2013. Norman can be seen in attendance at his nephew’s graduation ceremony.
"We tried to give him a better life and he lost his life," Robbie Montgomery said of her grandson in an interview with the Oprah Winfrey Network after his 2016 murder.
During a past interview with the Oprah Winfrey Network, Norman went to the Natural Bridge Road crime scene with his mother and he also gave the network an interview.
"We've lost a lot of family members here on this street, Andre as of late," Norman told OWN.
Norman's insurance agent indicted
According to court documents, in 2014, Norman obtained a $450,000 life insurance policy on his nephew, Andre Montgomery, on which Norman was the sole beneficiary.
On Aug. 20, the grand jury also charged Norman and his insurance agent Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, 42, of St. Louis, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Federal complaints and arrest warrants were previously issued for Norman and Ellis, who were both arrested earlier this week.
According to the Associated Press, Yaghnam, who is not charged in the alleged murder-for-hire plot, is an insurance agent, but in 2002 he was one of the producers of "Nellyville," an album by St. Louis rapper Nelly.
The indictment alleges that prior to Montgomery’s murder, Norman conspired with Yaghnam to fraudulently obtain a life insurance policy on Montgomery.
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 $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.
A spokesperson for the Madison County Detention Center in Canton, Mississippi said Norman is still being held at their jail. It's unclear when he will be extradited to St. Louis.
According to a release from the Department of Justice, if convicted of the conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire or murder-for-hire, resulting in death, the penalty is life imprisonment or death and a fine of $250,000; and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Many shocked by allegations
5 On Your Side’s Robert Townsend spoke to several people in the community after Norman was accused in the murder-for-hire plot and several other charges.
"Very, very shocking," said James Clark, the Vice President of Public Safety for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.
"I remember Tim as a very thoughtful and very friendly young man. I worked with him as he reached out to at-risk men and women in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. He was very, very supportive of individuals who were coming out of incarceration," Clark said.
Clark took a photo with Norman and his mother at a community support event months after Andre Montgomery was killed.
"The entire St. Louis Metropolitan and particular the African American community, we are reeling at this situation. We love Miss Robbie. We love the entire family. She has been a pillar in our community. This is a time where we're looking not for answers, but we're looking to show love," Clark said.
Customers of Sweetie Pie's were also stunned by the allegations.
"To hear this is crazy. I wouldn't have never thought this would happen in a million years," said Kelley Smith a regular Sweetie Pie's customer.
"I think we have to let the investigation play out. My heart goes out to Miss Robbie," said April Williams, another frequent customer.