MADISON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI DETENTION CENTER
James Timothy Norman was charged in a murder-for-hire plot.
Federal prosecutors won't seek the death penalty against Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
James "Tim" Norman if he's convicted of orchestrating his cousin's murder, but they haven't made a determination about another man charged in the case.
Norman is accused
of paying an exotic dancer from Memphis in 2016 to lure his nephew Andre Montgomery outside to be gunned down. Norman, who is the son of famed performer and restaurateur Robbie Montgomery, had secretly taken out $450,000 worth of life insurance on the nephew, according to an indictment.
In a memo filed on Wednesday, prosecutors wrote that the U.S. Attorney General had directed them not to pursue the death penalty against Norman or the dancer, Terica Ellis.
In August of this year, Norman was indicted along with Ellis in what the feds say was a murder-for-hire plot. Two others have since been indicted as well — a music-producer-turned-insurance-agent named Waiel "Wally Yaghnam
, who allegedly helped file bogus documents for the life insurance policies, and 29-year-old Travell Hill, who was charged earlier this month
Norman, Ellis and Hill were all charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Federal prosecutors are still withholding the full details of what they think happened in Andre Montgomery's killing, but they say phone records show the killing was coordinated through Norman.
The reality show star was living in Los Angeles in March 2016 but flew into St. Louis the day before his nephew's killing. He began communicating with Ellis through burner phones once in town, prosecutors say. Ellis had already been trading messages with Montgomery, telling the twenty-year-old she'd be visiting St. Louis and making plans to meet.
On March 14, 2016, Ellis contacted Norman and Hill and told them where they could find Montgomery, the indictment says. GPS coordinates from the phone showed she was nearby when Montgomery was shot to death in the 3900 block of Natural Bridge. She immediately drove home to Memphis, where she deposited $9,000 — part of $10,000 Norman allegedly paid her — in various accounts during the next couple of days. She, Norman and Hill stopped using their cell phones shortly after the shooting.
Two days after the killing, Hill was recorded on a prison phone as he talked to his brother about "Tim" and the killing, authorities say. According to the indictment, Hill's brother, Tony Whitfield, was heard on the call laughing and saying, "I heard that motherfucker finally got him."
Hill was paid $5,000 by an unnamed witness, who got the money from Norman at the Chase, authorities say.
In Wednesday's memo, prosecutors said although they wouldn't seek death for Norman or Ellis, should they be convicted, a decision on Hill was "still pending" and analysis.
None of the defendants have been convicted of a crime in connection with Montgomery's death.
We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
- Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.