Lifestyle & Human Interest

Reality TV Star James Norman Charged in Murder-for-Hire Plot Against Nephew


Andre Montgomery, nephew of James Timothy Norman from the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” show, was just 18 when he was shot and killed.

The murder occurred on March 14, 2016, at about 8:02 p.m. in St. Louis, Missouri — and only just recently have potential suspects been formally identified.

“The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section and FBI have established a dedicated and effective partnership in this extensive investigation,” U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen said in a statement.

On Tuesday morning, Norman, 41, was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi.

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He “was charged with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire, resulting in death,” according to a Department of Justice news release.

Norman allegedly took out life insurance policies on his nephew before the young man’s death to the tune of $450,000 — and listed himself as the sole beneficiary.

According to the criminal complaint documents obtained by WLBT-TV, “[t]he applications for all of these policies contained numerous false statements regarding Montgomery’s income, occupation, and family history.”

Norman and exotic dancer Terica Ellis both allegedly arrived in St. Louis in the days preceding Montgomery’s death. Norman was living in Los Angeles, and Ellis was living in Memphis, Tennessee.

The day of Montgomery’s death, both allegedly activated temporary cellphones and used them throughout the day to speak to each other. (Ellis also used hers to communicate with Montgomery, authorities said.)

That night, when Montgomery was killed, Ellis’ cellphone’s location placed her near the crime when it happened, prosecutors said. The next day, both Ellis and Norman’s temporary phones were deactivated, according to the criminal complaint.

In the days following the teen’s death, Ellis allegedly deposited around $9,000 in various accounts. According to the complaint, Ellis’ checking account had been in the red up to that point.

Starting on March 21, authorities said, Norman began calling the insurance company and attempting to collect the money — but since he didn’t have all the papers he needed, he was unable to cash out.

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“There exists probable cause to believe that James Timothy Norman conspired with Terica Ellis and/or others known and unknown to investigators at this time to use a facility of interstate commerce, namely, a cellular telephone, to commit a murder-for-hire in exchange for United States currency,” the complaint concluded.

“The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Section and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating these current charges,” the DOJ news release added.

Ellis has also been “charged by complaint with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, resulting in death,” according to the DOJ.

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