Norman is the son of Robbie Montgomery, who founded Sweetie Pie’s in 1996. The restaurant and Montgomery family were the subjects of a reality show produced by Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network called, “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.”
Saint Louis On the fourth day of the trial for a man accused of being the mastermind behind the Sweetie Pie’s murder-for-hire plot, federal investigators gave testimony based on data from various cell phones. Records from five phones, including two prepaid phones that were activated the day of the fatal gunshot, were detailed in the evidence that was given on Friday. In 2015, James Timothy “Tim” Norman, a co-owner of Sweetie Pie’s soul food restaurants in the St. Louis region, purchased a $450,000 life insurance policy on his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr., with Norman listed as the only beneficiary, according to prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Ellis, an exotic dancer living in Memphis, Tennessee, was accused of setting Andre up and tipping off Norman and others about Andre’s location prior to the murder. She testified Thursday on events leading up to Andre’s death after pleading guilty to one count of murder-for-hire conspiracy in July.
In testimony Friday, FBI agents Bastian Freund and intelligence analyst Andrew Wood explained records they had investigated from five numbers, including three connected with Norman and two connected with Terica Ellis on March 14, 2016. The records indicate a claim Norman made about where he was when his nephew was killed, which was previously cited in court, may not have been consistent with his actual location.
Such records found that two prepaid phones were activated in the area of a Walgreen in the 1400 block of Lindell Boulevard in the afternoon hours. Based on the evidence presented, the first voice activity between two prepaid phones involved a call between one another at 1:23 p.m., within the same hour Ellis says she communicated with Montgomery on her other phone.
Freund’s testimony focused on how cell towers provided data on the approximate locations of Norman and Ellis during different events. He stated while the cell towers might not give an exact location due to restrictions without GPS, towers around the St. Louis metropolitan area are divided within three sectors that could help determine if the area of alleged events is consistent with the general area of the phones’s location.
Cell phone tower records later revealed that Ellis’ prepaid phone was in the same general area of a meetup Montgomery earlier in the day at a LaQuinta Inn in Hazelwood, a trip to the Galleria and the scene of the crime in the 3900 block of Natural Bridge Road, all happenings which she testified about on Wednesday. Records also show a change of towers for Ellis’ prepaid phone around 8:03 p.m., indicating a change in location minutes after the murder.