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BY Francis Akhalbey, 7:30am March 04, 2024,

Married principal admits to paying hitman to murder his pregnant teacher girlfriend

Cornelius M. Green admitted to hiring a hitman to kill his pregnant girlfriend Jocelyn Peters -- Left photo credit: St. Louis City Justice Center | Right photo via Facebook

A married middle school principal entered a guilty plea on February 28 in connection with a murder-for-hire incident that resulted in the shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend. According to NBC News, Cornelius M. Green, then a principal at Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School in St. Louis, admitted to paying his friend $2,500 to kill his pregnant lover, Jocelyn Peters, authorities said.

Peters, 30, was over 27 weeks pregnant when Green’s friend Phillip J. Cutler shot and killed her at her St. Louis home in March 2016. Green was federally charged with murder-for-hire conspiracy and murder-for-hire. 

Green also faces state charges in connection with the killings of his girlfriend and their unborn baby. But those charges will be dropped by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office if he is handed a life sentence on the federal charges. Prosecutors had wanted Green to be sentenced to death if convicted of the state charges.

Green is set to be sentenced on June 5 while Cutler also faces federal charges of murder-for-hire conspiracy and murder-for-hire. Cutler’s trial will commence on March 11.

The 2022 indictment stated that Green – a married man – was  “involved in multiple romantic relationships with other women”, adding that he was romantically involved with Peters when he hired his friend to kill her. Peters was a teacher. 

Authorities said Green paid the hitman with money he stole from the school. Cutler is said to have traveled from Oklahoma to St. Louis to kill Peters after Green sent him the stolen money with the middle school’s address. The package was also sent after Cutler received a text from Green on February 29, 2016, NBC News reported.

Authorities said Cutler later arrived in St. Louis on March 21, 2016, adding that the two friends drove to an Amtrak train station the following day. The documents also said Green boarded a train to Chicago and handed Cutler keys to the car and Peters’ apartment. The indictment stated that Green made his way to Chicago in an attempt to establish an alibi.

Cutler on March 24, 2016, shot and killed Peters at her home, with authorities stating that he attached the murder weapon with a potato to serve as a “silencer to muffle the sound of the shot.” Cutler subsequently informed Green he had carried out the hit in the wake of the fatal incident.

Green then returned to St. Louis from Chicago via an Amtrak train that same day, authorities said. Upon his return, Green made his way to Peters’ residence and contacted authorities to report her shooting. Authorities stated that the former principal in the 911 call pretended to have “no knowledge of the circumstances leading her death.”

“Mr. Green understood his choices and made the one that did not compound the tragedy of this situation,” Green’s attorney, Nicholas Williams, said. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 4, 2024


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