Though OWN’s Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s became beloved for its cast and familial themes, the series was marred by controversy a few years ago. Cast member James "Tim" Norman was arrested over the shooting death of his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr. When Norman was arrested in 2020, he was accussed of committing several felonies, including murder-for-hire. Now, the reality TV star’s trial has concluded, and he has been convicted over Montgomery’s murder.
Tim Norman was convicted by a Missouri jury this past Friday, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The news publication reports that Norman was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The jury reportedly came to these conclusions after deliberating 17 hours over three days. Norman is set to be sentenced on December 15 and could face life in prison.
Andre Montgomery Jr., the grandson of lead star and business owner Robbie Montgomery, was killed in 2016. Montgomery Jr. was featured on a number of episodes throughout the reality TV series’ run, with many stories focusing on his move from Texas to St. Louis as well as his academic struggles. The young man eventually graduated from high school in 2013, and the ceremony was featured on the show. Following his death, the series paid tribute to him, with one episode even showing a vigil held in his honor.
Likewise, Tim Norman was also a fixture on the fan-favorite TV program, which ran for nine seasons from 2011 to 2018. His ups and downs, like his firing by Miss Robbie, were also captured on screen. Following his arrest in 2020, prosecutors claimed that Norman took out a $450,000 insurance policy on Andre Montgomery Jr. Norman was also said to have coordinated the murdder with a woman named Terrica Ellis, who he allegedly communicated with using a burner phone. Ellis was also arrested in 2020 on a murder-for-hire conspiracy charge.
Days after they were taken into custody, another person was indicted for the Sweetie Pie star’s murder-for-hire plot. Waiel "Wally" Yaghnam was charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. Yaghnam, a former music producer, was an insurance agent, who reportedly worked with Tim Norman to craft a fraudulent life insurance policy for his teenage nephew. That initial policy is said to have been worth $200,000. Norman was the sole beneficiary, and the policy allegedly contained false information regarding his nephew’s income, family history and more. Yaghnam pleaded guilty this summer and asserted his fifth amendment right not to testify during the recent trial.
Amid the recently concluded case, the now-convicted star’s defense team had him testify on his own behalf. During his appeal, he apparently told the jury that he was a mentor to his nephew and never sought to do him harm.
Tim Norman’s defense attorney, Mike Leonard, says that his client is planning to appeal the verdict. Only time will tell whether or not Norman and his team are able to do so successfully.
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