Former Sweetie Pie’s owner Tim Norman has been sentenced to life in federal prison after he as found guilty of carrying out a murder-for-hire plot against his nephew.
Norman learned of his fate on Thursday morning following six months of waiting, after a jury spent more than 17 hours deliberating and determining a final verdict back in September.
Norman Receives Two Life Sentences, But Maintains His Innocence In Social Media Post
The 43-year-old was sentenced to life in federal prison for murder-for-hire against his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr., according to KSDK.
“He is the architect of this plan, causing, encouraging and aiding this scheme,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gwendolyn Caroll told the jury.
Just last week, Norman took to social media to proclaim his innocence with a caption saying “#innocent.”
However he was ultimately found guilty on all charges, which included conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire resulting in death and even mail fraud. On Thursday, Norman received two life sentences for the murder-for-hire counts as well as a 240-month sentence for the mail fraud.
Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s Tim Norton Took Out Large Life Insurance Policy On Nephew Prior To His Death
The soul food restauranteur is best known for the reality TV show Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, which debuted on the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011 and ended in 2018.
In 2020, he was accused of plotting his nephew’s murder after Montgomery’s death back in 2016.
He took out life insurance policies for $450,000 on Montgomery two years before his passing in 2014, court documents show.
However, Norman claims he did not take out that policy and was “still in disbelief” in a social media post last week.
“Thank you for all the prayers. I’m still in disbelief. The feds know 100% I did not do those insurance policies,” Norman wrote. “But the jury did not get to hear that. And not one person got on that stand and told them to hurt my nephew. They destroyed my name and image so you guys wouldn’t search for the truth.”
RELATED: Sweetie Pie’s Closes Doors In St. Louis After Tim Norman Is Found Guilty Of Killing Nephew
"Greed brought this, he wanted power and wealth."
The mother of Andre Montgomery Jr. said these words in her victim impact statement, talking about Tim Norman. Below, we have reaction from mom and the first moment the family walked out of the courthouse. pic.twitter.com/BBs18kcuIq
— Justina Coronel (@JustinaCoronel) March 2, 2023
Three Others Charged In Connection To The Crime, Including Norman’s Insurance Agent
Three others were charged in connection to the crime, and have already pleaded guilty for their individual roles, the outlet reports.
Travell Anthony Hill, 31, was sentenced in Oct. 2022 to 32 years in prison after pleading guilty for being the hired hand that killed Norman’s nephew..
Hill, who took a plea agreement, admitted to authorities that he met with Montgomery’s uncle, James Timothy Norman, on the day of the murder, and added he understood that Norman wanted Montgomery dead.
Meanwhile, Norman’s insurance agent, Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, received three years in prison in Nov. 2022 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Another person, 39-year-old Terica Ellis, was similarly sentenced to three years in prison last month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, according to KSDK.
She was initially facing a maximum 20-year sentence.
Nelly’s Country Grammar Producer/Insurance Agent Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam Is The Third Suspect Indicted With Sweetie Pie's Tim Norman in Murder-For-Hire Plot pic.twitter.com/a3pOkUXjbI
— Blanco Tarantino TV, LLC (@BlancoTarantino) August 21, 2020
Terica Ellis was booked into Desoto County jail 8/17 pic.twitter.com/WAW0CG2Q6C
— Jennifer Diprizio (@JeniDiprizioTV) August 19, 2020
Shooter that killed Sweetie Pie's reality TV star pleads guilty, implicates others
Travell Anthony Hill pleaded guilty to his role in a 2016 murder-for-hire plot that killed Andre Montgomery, grandson of Robbie Montgomery. pic.twitter.com/g1t96lgxYP
— Garrett Cruz (@GarrettCruz10) July 4, 2022
The U.S. Attorney’s Office states that there were multiple factors in the judge’s decision to sentence Ellis to three years, including the fact that she had been forced into prostitution as a young girl.
Her role was to lure Montgomery to his death, which she was reportedly paid $10,000 to do.
Norman’s Attorneys Attempted To Fight Life Sentence For Their Client, Citing His Troubled Childhood
Norman’s attorneys had been fighting since last week to keep him from receiving a life sentence and asked for no more than 20 years in prison, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
The lawyers attempted to argue that Norman’s troubled childhood played a role in the crime, and noted his charitable efforts to give back to the community in recent years.
“In sum, the ‘history and characteristics’ of Mr. Norman strongly favor a sentence that is no more than 20 years,” court documents read.”
Norman’s mother, Robbie Montgomery, also begged the judge “for mercy for my son.”
In February 2020, Sweetie Pies, a restaurant chain based in St. Louis, Missouri, abruptly closed all locations just a few months before Norman’s arrest. The company had been in business for over 20 years and, at its peak, operated 19 stores in nine states.