Family of slain ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s’ star confront his killer during sentencing: ‘How can you sleep?’
Travell Anthony Hill, the convicted murderer of ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s’ star Andre Montgomery Jr., was confronted by family members of the victim during his sentencing Thursday.
Hill, 33, was sentenced to 32 years in prison on two murder-for-hire charges after pleading guilty to fatally shooting Montgomery in March 2016, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.
“How can you sleep? Montgomery’s sister, Kalyn Griggs, asked Hill. « Was the $5,000 worth it? »
« We are not whole and we never will be again, » Montgomery’s brother, Darren Griggs, said in court. « Andre had so much life to live. »
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In June, Hill pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire in the Montgomery murder. He admitted conspiring with Montgomery’s uncle, James « Tim » Norman, to murder his 21-year-old nephew.
Norman had taken out an insurance policy worth up to $450,000 against Montgomery’s life, of which he was the sole beneficiary. Hill killed Montgomery in exchange for $5,000, which Norman asked a friend to give him after the murder.
Norman and Montgomery both starred in « Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, » a reality show on their family’s soul food restaurant chain in St. Louis, Missouri. The show aired on OWN for nine seasons from 2011 to 2018. Norman’s mother and Montgomery’s grandmother, Robbie Montgomery, who founded Sweetie Pie’s, announced that she had shut down the channel’s last site in Saint-Louis after his son’s conviction.
Hill apologized to Montgomery’s family during his court appearance on Thursday. He asked for clemency, telling U.S. District Judge John Ross that two of his brothers were killed in shootings the same year he shot Montgomery.
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He told the court he never killed for money, but to ‘protect’ himself and said he had a one-year-old son whom he had not been able to meet in person because he had been incarcerated.
« I’ve been dead inside since the day of the murder, » Hill said. « I apologize to everyone in court. »
The sentencing recommendation for the charges was life in prison. However, prosecutors Angie Danis and Gwendolyn Carroll and Hill’s defense attorney Peter Cohen requested a 30-year sentence because of Hill’s cooperation with authorities, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.
Hill and another conspirator, Terica Ellis, testified against Norman at his trial. In September, Norman was convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire and wire and mail fraud. He faces life in prison and is expected to be sentenced in March.
In July, Ellis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. The former exotic dancer admitted she lured Montgomery to the street the night of the murder and told Hill where he was.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.