Jury in 'Sweetie Pie's' Murder Trial in 13th Hour of Deliberations

The jurors have made multiple requests for evidence as they come to a verdict

click to enlarge Andre Montgomery Jr (left) was shot to death. Now his uncle Tim Norman (right) stands accused of masterminding his murder. - US ATTORNEY'S OFFICE & MADISON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI DETENTION CENTER
Andre Montgomery Jr (left) was shot to death. Now his uncle Tim Norman (right) stands accused of masterminding his murder.

The jury in former reality TV star Tim Norman's conspiracy to commit murder trial is not reaching their verdict in haste.

They have been deliberating for nearly 13 hours.

Tim Norman is accused of hiring people to kill his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr. Montgomery was shot and killed outside a home recording studio in 2016. Both Montgomery and Norman previously appeared on the reality TV show Welcome to Sweetie Pie's.

Prosecutors allege Norman paid an exotic dancer named Terica Ellis $10,000 to lure Montgomery out of the studio, after which Travell Hill — who Norman allegedly paid $5,000 — shot and killed the 21-year-old.

Closing arguments in the now eight-day trial wrapped up on Wednesday around 11:40 a.m. and the jury left the courtroom to deliberate.

Around 3 p.m. the jury requested three exhibits be sent to them: flight records for Terica Ellis, text messages between Norman and his attorney, and a copy of the application for life insurance that Norman successfully took out on Montgomery.

Not long after that, the jury requested copies of all the text messages entered into evidence over the course of the trial.

At 5:30 p.m. last night, the judge sent the jury home. They resumed deliberations this morning at 10 a.m.

Thus far today, the jury has made requests for materials five times, including for prepaid phone records and evidence presented by two FBI agents who testified last week.

Every announcement of a note from the jury brings a rush of journalists, family members, and YouTube content creators into the courtroom.

A guilty or not guilty verdict would not come in the form of a jury note. But when the judge receives a note from the jury, it brings with it the possibility that the jury is announcing they were unable to reach a verdict.

The most recent note, which the judge received around 2:30 p.m., was a question as to whether a cooperation agreement between the government and a man named Darryl Howard should affect the jury's consideration of Howard's testimony.

Howard was a friend of Norman who testified that he picked up $5,000 from the Chase Park Plaza, where Norman stayed on the day Montgomery was killed. Howard then said that he didn't know what the money was for but that, per Norman's instructions, he gave it to Hill.

In response to the note, Norman's defense attorney Michael Leonard requested the jury be given a one word answer, "Yes." But the prosecution pointed out that Howard has no cooperation agreement with the government.

The judge said that it was his opinion that he cannot further instruct the jury other than to be guided by the instruction they've already been given and by their recollection of the testimony thus far.

A note to that effect was sent back to the jury.

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