ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former star in a St. Louis-based “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” actuality tv present testified Tuesday that he was not concerned within the killing of his nephew.
James “Tim” Norman, 43, is accused of hiring two folks to kill 21-year-old Andre Montgomery in March 2016 after which making an attempt to money a $450,000 life insurance coverage coverage he took out on his nephew within the months earlier than he was killed.
Norman, 43, advised jurors that he helped his nephew transfer to St. Louis about 18 months earlier than he was killed and supported him financially as a result of he was making an attempt to be careful for Montgomery, The St. Louis Publish-Dispatch reported.
“That is my brother’s child, so I attempted my greatest to step in and be a father determine,” Norman advised the jury. “I attempted my greatest to point out him proper from incorrect and tried to be a good friend on the similar time.”
Norman and Montgomery starred in “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” a actuality present on the OWN community that was based mostly at a preferred soul-food enterprise based by Norman’s mom and Montgomery’s grandmother, Robbie Montgomery.
Norman is dealing with two federal murder-for-hire counts and one rely of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
Prosecutors mentioned Norman paid $10,000 to an unique dancer, Terica Ellis, to lure his nephew to the location the place he was shot and paid $5,000 to Travell Anthony Hill to shoot Montgomery.
Ellis and Hill have each pleaded responsible to taking part within the scheme.
Norman testified Tuesday that he took out the life insurance coverage coverage on his nephew to present a longtime buyer of the household eating places, Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, some enterprise.
Yaghnam pleaded responsible in July to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and wire fraud within the case.
Montgomery left St. Louis after not less than $220,000 in money, jewellery and different gadgets have been stolen in a June 2015 housebreaking at Robbie Montgomery’s residence.
Norman advised jurors he and his mom employed a personal investigator to seek out his nephew, however he had no intention of injuring him.
He mentioned he flew to St. Louis on March 14, 2016 — the day of Montgomery’s dying — as a part of common stops to do jobs for Sweetie Pie’s.
He mentioned he paid Ellis solely $1,000 for intercourse and $2,000 to assist her open a boutique in Memphis. He acknowledged he requested Ellis to assist him discover Montgomery however by no means paid her to take action.
Norman testified he linked Ellis and Hill to seek out Montgomery as a result of he needed to get again gadgets stolen from Robbie Montgomery’s residence. He mentioned he by no means paid Hill to shoot his nephew and didn’t know he was the shooter for years after his nephew’s dying.
Robbie Montgomery, the first determine on “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” attended courtroom Monday and Tuesday throughout her son’s protection however declined to touch upon the case. The protection initially meant to name her as a personality witness. However prosecutors efficiently opposed her testimony as not related to the case.