Jury finds son of Sweetie Pie’s owner guilty in murder-for-hire plot to kill nephew

After over 17 hours of deliberations, the jury in the trial of the son of Robbie Montgomery, reality TV star and owner of Sweetie Pie’s restaurant, who was charged with commissioning a murder-for-hire plot that killed his teenage nephew in 2016, issued a guilty verdict.

James Timothy Norman, 41, was found guilty on all charges, including conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire resulting in death and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Missouri.

According to the criminal complaint against Norman, he had conspired with an exotic dancer residing in Memphis, Tennessee, and others “to use a facility of interstate commerce, namely, a cellular telephone, to commit a murder-for-hire in exchange for United States currency.”

“Mr. Norman’s crimes were motivated by greed and while the evidence was voluminous and overwhelming, Mr. Norman’s plan was relatively straightforward. He fraudulently obtained life insurance in the amount of $450,000 on his nephew, Andre Montgomery, without Mr. Montgomery’s knowledge, he then used a paramour to locate Mr. Montgomery and a co-defendant to fatally shoot and kill him. Within days of his nephew’s murder, Mr. Norman started the process of getting the insurance company to pay the claim,” U.S. Attorney Sayler Fleming said following the verdict.

Norman sentencing is currently set for December 15. “At that time, he is looking at a statutory penalty range of up to life imprisonment,” Fleming said.

Norman’s defense attorney, Mike Leonard said his firm was surprised and disappointed in the outcome, given that Norman himself had testified extensively during the trial. “But we understand the work of the jury. We respect that. But it’s with a lot of disappointment that I stand before you here today,” Leonard said, noting that an appeal would be filed.

“Tim is an amazingly optimistic and strong guy. So he’s been in custody for quite a long time already. He had to sit through the deliberations by himself, and he’s very strong person. And so I think he’s still despite the verdict has a lot optimism that we’re going to overcome this and ultimately prevail,” the attorney added.

Montgomery was the star of “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” that chronicled her family’s management of their popular business. Various family members, including Norman, would appear frequently. The show aired on OWN Network for nine seasons from 2011 to 2018.

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