Second man charged in Sweetie Pie’s murder-for-hire killing

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, November 12, 2020

Federal prosecutors on Thursday announced another indictment tied to the 2016 killing of a man whose grandmother’s St. Louis-area soul food restaurant was the setting for the reality show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.”

The slain man’s uncle, James Timothy Norman, of Jackson, Mississippi, and alleged co-conspirator Terica Ellis, of Memphis, Tennessee, had already been charged with murder for hire for their alleged role in a scheme that led to the shooting death of 20-year-old Andre Montgomery near a St. Louis park.

Prosecutors on Thursday said a grand jury has now indicted another alleged co-conspirator, 29-year-old Travell Anthony Hill, for conspiracy to commit murder for hire.

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According to a news release announcing the indictment, the uncle set up a $5,000 cash payment for Hill two days after Montgomery’s murder, and Hill was recorded that same day discussing Montgomery’s killing and his payment.

Hill’s lawyer didn’t immediately return an Associated Press request for comment Thursday.

Norman, who is a son of Sweetie Pie’s owner Robbie Montgomery, and the victim, who was her grandson, appeared on “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” which ran for five seasons on the Oprah Winfrey Network starting in 2011.

Norman and 42-year-old Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam have also been charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and Yaghnam is charged with five counts of aggravated identity theft.

Yaghnam is an insurance agent, but in 2002 he was one of the producers of “Nellyville,” which sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. Federal prosecutors allege that Yaghnam conspired with Norman to fraudulently obtain a $450,000 life insurance policy on Andre Montgomery. Yaghnam was Norman’s insurance agent at the time.

Norman became the sole beneficiary of his nephew’s life insurance policy in 2014, according to prosecutors. Montgomery was shot to death on March 14, 2016, near Fairground Park in St. Louis.