ST. LOUIS – Federal brokers testified on information from a number of cell telephones Friday on the fourth day of trial for a person on the heart of the Sweetie Pie’s murder-for-hire conspiracy.
Proof introduced Friday outlined information from 5 telephones, together with two pay as you go telephones activated on the day of the lethal capturing.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Jap District of Missouri mentioned James Timothy “Tim” Norman, a co-owner of Sweetie Pie’s soul meals eating places within the St. Louis space, took out a $450,000 life insurance coverage coverage in 2015 on his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr., with Norman named as the only beneficiary.
Norman is the son of Robbie Montgomery, who based Sweetie Pie’s in 1996. The restaurant and Montgomery household have been the themes of a actuality present produced by Oprah Winfrey’s OWN community known as, “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.”
In testimony Friday, FBI brokers Bastian Freund and intelligence analyst Andrew Wooden defined information they’d investigated from 5 numbers, together with three linked with Norman and two linked with Terica Ellis on March 14, 2016. The information point out a declare Norman made about the place he was when his nephew was killed, which was beforehand cited in court docket, could not have been constant together with his precise location.
Ellis, an unique dancer residing in Memphis, Tennessee, was accused of setting Andre up and tipping off Norman and others about Andre’s location previous to the homicide. She testified Thursday on occasions main as much as Andre’s loss of life after pleading responsible to at least one rely of murder-for-hire conspiracy in July.
Ellis says Norman supplied her $10,000 to assist him discover Andre Montgomery Jr. after the 2 met up for intercourse at a resort, although says she was not anticipating Montgomery to be harmed within the course of.
Freund’s testimony targeted on how cell towers offered knowledge on the approximate places of Norman and Ellis throughout totally different occasions. He said whereas the cell towers won’t give an actual location as a result of restrictions with out GPS, towers across the St. Louis metropolitan space are divided inside three sectors that might assist decide if the realm of alleged occasions is in keeping with the overall space of the telephones’s location.
Such information discovered that two pay as you go telephones have been activated within the space of a Walgreen within the 1400 block of Lindell Boulevard within the afternoon hours. Primarily based on the proof introduced, the primary voice exercise between two pay as you go telephones concerned a name between each other at 1:23 p.m., inside the identical hour Ellis says she communicated with Montgomery on her different telephone.
Mobile phone tower information later revealed that Ellis’ pay as you go telephone was in the identical common space of a meetup Montgomery earlier within the day at a LaQuinta Inn in Hazelwood, a visit to the Galleria and the scene of the crime within the 3900 block of Pure Bridge Street, all happenings which she testified about on Wednesday. Information additionally present a change of towers for Ellis’ pay as you go telephone round 8:03 p.m., indicating a change in location minutes after the homicide.
Information from the pay as you go telephone assigned to Norman revealed he was within the neighborhood of Chase Park Plaza resort earlier than 4 p.m. and a U.S. Financial institution off of Lindell Boulevard round 5 p.m. The primary meetup was additionally traced to a Google account involving a witness nicknamed D.J. Beetz who met with Norman hours earlier than Montgomery’s loss of life. Tower information revealed a number of calls from Norman to Ellis and Journey Hill, the accused set off man who additionally beforehand pleaded responsible, from 6:30 p.m. to eight p.m on the night time Montgomery was killed.
Following Montgomery’s loss of life, information from cellular phone towers tracked the overall location of Norman’s assigned pay as you go telephone to the realm round Lambert Airport.
The information are opposite to a 2018 textual content thread cited as proof Thursday. In that change, Norman had given Waiel Yagnum, his private insurance coverage agent, approval to proceed with an insurance coverage declare wherein the corporate wanted documentation that he was cleared in Montgomery’s homicide. Throughout that dialog cited in court docket, Norman mentioned he was in California, not St. Louis, on the time of Montgomery’s loss of life.
By the subsequent morning, FBI investigators say the pay as you go telephones have been now not in service. The final traced exercise from Ellis got here simply earlier than midnight on March 14, 2016, close to Memphis. The final traced exercise from Norman got here round 1:50 a.m. on March 15 across the Lambert Airport space.
Along with the telephone information, FBI brokers reviewed airline flight info linked to at least one quantity offered by Norman to ebook a flight from St. Louis to Los Angeles. That flight left across the time the pay as you go telephone was final energetic.
Testimony Turns To Protection
The prosecution rested its case early Friday afternoon, turning testimony over the protection. Ed Chandler Sr., identified to Norman and others as “Massive Ed,” was the one different witness apart from federal brokers to testify Friday, recalling what he remembered from the final time he noticed Andre in individual.
Chandler mentioned he was working in a safety function on the Sweetie Pie’s location close to Lindbergh and I-270 on the day Montgomery was killed and began his shift round 4 p.m. Others knowledgeable him that Montgomery was on the restaurant. Chandler says he took an image of Montgomery after talking to him and despatched it to Tim and an acquaintance often known as “White Boy Chris” because it was uncommon for him to be on the restaurant.
That was the final time Chandler recalled seeing Montgomery in-person, and he left the restaurant after grabbing a chunk to eat. Chandler says he didn’t obtain one other message again from Norman or Chris on Montgomery’s cease.
Telephone information cited in court docket point out that Norman did not contact Chandler till round 1:25 a.m. on March 15, lower than an hour earlier than his booked flight took off from St. Louis. Throughout that telephone name, Chandler says Norman advised him to name his mom and meet her at St. Louis police headquarters.
Based on his testimony, Norman advised Chandler he was out of city and didn’t specify the precise motive he wanted him to go to police headquarters. Chandler says he was unaware of Norman’s precise location or Montgomery’s loss of life earlier than he made the journey to headquarters. Chandler famous in testimony that he had by no means observed any acts of rage or violence from Norman.
Friday’s testimony comes after FBI brokers Daniel Root and James Applebaum took the stand late Thursday to learn textual content messages as proof of conversations involving Norman from 2014 to 2018 concerning a life insurance coverage coverage on Montgomery. In a 2014 change with Yaghnam, earlier than Montgomery’s loss of life, a textual content message informing him to “act such as you’re Andre” as a way to get a life insurance coverage coverage approval.
Yaghnam, who has not testified in Norman’s trial, was indicted in August 2020 on one rely of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. He pleaded responsible in July 2022. Each Yaghnam and Ellis might be sentenced on Oct. 26. The decide says he’ll attain out to authorities officers in an effort to contact attorneys for Yangham and see if he would possibly have the ability to testify subsequent week.
Within the life insurance coverage coverage that was finally issued, by Foresters, Norman obtained a $200,000 coverage with a $200,000 unintended loss of life rider that may pay out if Montgomery died of something apart from pure causes, and a $50,000 10-year time period rider that may pay out if Montgomery died inside a decade of the coverage being accredited.
Earlier within the trial, 4 insurance coverage representatives had testified that Norman was listed as the only proprietor and beneficiary on every of the purposes and Yaghnam filed the paperwork.
Prosecutors allege Norman tried to hide this plan from Andre. On one software filed by Yaghnam, the bottom coverage was set at precisely $249,999, a single greenback beneath a set off quantity set by the insurer that may have required Andre to take an in-person medical examination to find out if he was a well being threat.
After two federal witnesses testified Friday, no different authorities witnesses are anticipated to testify within the trial. The decide has dismissed the jury for the weekend and testimony will resume Monday.