ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Mississippi man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges alleging he was involved in a murder-for-hire plot that led to the shooting death 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 an alleged co-conspirator, Terica Ellis, of Memphis, Tennessee were arrested in August on charges alleging they were involved in a murder-for-hire plot that led to the shooting death of 20-year-old Andre Montgomery, near a St. Louis park four years ago.
Norman, 41, entered the plea during a court appearance Tuesday, Ellis pleaded not guilty at a hearing in September, KTVI reported.
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 became the sole beneficiary of 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.