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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – James Timothy Norman, 41, plead not guilty in federal court today.

The Sweetie Pies co-owner is accused of attempting to cash in on a $450,000 life insurance policy on his nephew, Andre Montgomery, 18, after allegedly setting up a murder for hire plot. Montgomery was shot and killed in the 3900 block of Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis in 2016.

Terica Ellis has also been charged in the murder for hire plot. Authorities say Ellis’ phone was used in the area of Montgomery’s murder. They also allege that Ellis called Norman and later traveled back to Memphis, where she deposited over $9,000 in various bank accounts.

A hearing was held for Ellis on September 2, 2020. She was detained after the court appearance. She has a 2-year-old child and that was taken into consideration during her court appearance.

The court also recommended that Norman be detained during his court appearance today. If convicted, both Ellis and Norman could face a minimum sentence of life without parole

Montgomery was Miss Robbie Montgomery’s only grandchild from her deceased son. He also died due to gun violence.