ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives confronted the man who fatally shot a former star of the St. Louis-based reality TV show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” when he was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
“How can you sleep?” Kalyn Griggs asked Travell Anthony Hill as the 31-year-old was sentenced Thursday on two murder-for-hire charges in the the March 2016 death of Griggs’ brother, Andre Montgomery. “Was the $5,000 worth it?”
Hill admitted in June, through his plea, to conspiring with Montgomery’s uncle, James “Tim” Norman, who was the sole beneficiary of an insurance policy worth up to $450,000 against his 21-year-old nephew’s life. He instructed a friend to pay Hill the $5,000 in cash after the killing, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Montgomery and Norman starred on “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” a long-running OWN reality show about a family soul food business in the St. Louis area.
“We are not whole, and we never will be again,” Montgomery’s brother, Darren Griggs, told the court. “Andre had so much life left to live.”
Hill apologized to Montgomery’s family during the hearing and asked U.S. District Judge John Ross for leniency. He said two of his own brothers were killed in shootings the same year he shot Montgomery.
He argued he never killed for the money, but to “protect myself.” He said he has a son he has not been able to meet in person because of his incarceration.
“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, but the prosecution and defense had requested a 30-year sentence because Hill cooperated with authorities.
He testified against Norman, who is set to be sentenced in March after he was convicted last month of two counts of murder-for-hire and wire and mail fraud.
Another conspirator, Terica Ellis, is scheduled to be sentenced in January after pleading guilty in July to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. She admitted she lured Montgomery out on the street the night of the killing and told Hill his location.