Former Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s star Tim Norman is still claiming his innocence.
Former reality TV star James “Tim” Norman continues to maintain his innocence after a St. Louis jury in September found him guilty in a murder-for-hire trial for conspiring to have his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr., killed to collect on a life insurance policy.
“I’m still in disbelief. The feds knew 100% I did not do those insurance policies. But the jury didn’t get to hear that,” he said in a Feb. 23 Instagram post.
Norman and Montgomery starred in Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, a long-running OWN reality show about the popular soul-food business in St. Louis, co-owned with Norman’s mother, Robbie Montgomery, who is Andre’s grandmother.
Montgomery, 21, was killed outside of a St. Louis apartment complex in 2016. Prosecutors said Norman took out several life insurance policies on his nephew totaling over $450,000 and attempted to cash in the policies just days after his death.
After more than 17 hours of deliberations, the jury on Sept. 16 issued a guilty verdict on all charges, including conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire resulting in death and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Prosecutors said Norman conspired with an exotic dancer in Memphis, Tennessee, and others “to use a facility of interstate commerce, namely, a cellular telephone, to commit a murder-for-hire in exchange for United States currency.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the prosecutor told jurors in her opening remarks that Norman was desperate for money.
But defense attorney Michael Leonard said Norman obtained life insurance policies on his nephew because Montgomery’s budding rap career involved him getting into potentially deadly street conflicts. Further, the attorney argued that his client was financially well off and had no need for a fraudulent life insurance policy.
However, an FBI agent presented texts at the trial in which Norman told his cousin that he was recently evicted from his apartment and had more than $91,000 in monthly expenses but no income from the TV show.
“Not one person got on the stand and said that I told them to hurt my nephew,” Norman argued in his IG post. “They destroyed my name and image so you guys wouldn’t search for the truth.”
Waiel Rebhi Yaghnam, Norman’s insurance agent, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced in November to three years in prison, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Norman is scheduled for sentencing on March 2.