'Sweetie Pies' Owner Tim Norton Given Life Sentence for Nephew's Murder-For-Hire

The family of Andre Montgomery Jr. can have some solace in knowing the people responsible for his murder have been sentenced. Unfortunately, the situation is made even more heartbreaking as Montgomery's uncle, Tim Norman, was found guilty of orchestrating the 2016 murder-for-hire plot. Norman has been sentenced to life in prison, per TMZ. There were several ties linking him to the crime, including cell tower evidence, witness statements, co-conspirator testimony, and the fact that Norman took out multiple life insurance policies totaling over $400k on Montgomery Jr., listing him as the beneficiary. He tried and failed to cash in on the policies just days after Montgomery was gunned down outside of a St. Luis apartment complex.

Days before the sentencing, Norman took to social media to proclaim his innocence in the only statement he's released since being arrested in 2020. "Thanks for all the prayers. I'm still in disbelief," he wrote in part. "The feds know 100% I did not do those insurance policies. But the jury didn't get to hear that. And not one person got on the stand and said that I told them to hurt my nephew. They destroyed my name and image so you guys wouldn't search for the truth." He captioned the post, "#innocent."

As for what led Norman to the vicious act, there are several theories outside of greed and life insurance policies. Some say he was jealous of his nephew, and particularly Montgomery Jr.'s relationship with Norman's mother, Miss Robbie Montgomery. Miss Robbie owned Sweetie Pie's, the soul food chain that was the focus on the OWN reality series Welcome to Sweetie Pie's for nine seasons. Norman was a co-owner. There's also a theory that Norman was upset that Montgomery Jr. listed him as a potential suspect in the home robbery of Miss Robbie that occurred months before his death. 

Miss Robbie, a former backup singer for Ike and Tina Turner, has publicly stood by Norman. Other family members featured on the show have been mum.