Missouri woman sentenced to 3-years in prison for aiding reality show star’s murder plot

Murder for Hire news Graphic

U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Tuesday sentenced a woman who aided a reality show star’s plot to murder his nephew to three years in prison.

Terica Taneisha Ellis helped James Timothy Norman, who appeared on the reality show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” locate his nephew, Andre Montgomery Jr., who also appeared on the show. Norman then passed his nephew’s location to another man, who fatally shot Montgomery, 21, at 3964 Natural Bridge Avenue in St. Louis on March 14, 2016.

Ellis, now 39, pleaded guilty in July to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. The exotic dancer from Memphis, Tennessee admitted to being paid $10,000 to locate Montgomery and lure him outside before the shooting.

Norman, 43, was convicted by a jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in September of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2, and is facing a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Norman took out a life insurance policy worth $450,000 on Montgomery, then arranged for Montgomery’s murder, according to testimony and evidence at his trial.

Before announcing the sentence Tuesday, Judge Ross said that without what he called “an incredible effort” by investigators, “This could easily have been just another unsolved killing.”

He also recognized Ellis’ testimony against Norman at trial and said Norman would likely have succeeded in having Montgomery killed, whether Ellis helped or not.

The shooter, Travell Anthony Hill, 31, was sentenced in October to 32 years in prison. Hill pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and one count of murder-for-hire and testified at Norman’s trial.

Waiel Rebhi “Wally” Yaghnam, Norman’s former insurance agent, was sentenced in November to three years in prison on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Yaghnam, 44, admitted conspiring with Norman to fraudulently obtain a life insurance policy on Montgomery and then helping Norman file a claim after Montgomery’s murder.

The case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angie Danis and Gwendolyn Carroll are prosecuting the case.