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BY Francis Akhalbey, 9:09am June 27, 2024,

Married principal who admitted to taking his pregnant girlfriend’s life sentenced

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

Cornelius M. Green, the married Missouri middle school principal who admitted to hiring a hitman to kill his pregnant girlfriend Jocelyn Peters, was on Tuesday sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.

As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, Green on February 28 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and one count of murder-for-hire in the deaths of Peters and their unborn child. The convicted man, who was a principal at Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School in St. Louis, admitted to paying his friend $2,500 to kill Peters, authorities said, per NBC News

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.

In a statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said that Peters had previously miscarried and had an abortion at “Green’s urging, but was determined to keep” their unborn child, per a sentencing memo filed by prosecutors.

But the statement said Peters “mistakenly believed he was the only woman in Green’s life, and that Green was divorcing his wife.” Authorities also said Peters was unaware Green was involved with several other women, and at least one of them was similarly “being duped by Green into believing they were building a life together.”

The statement said that prior to Peter’s killing, Green looked into ways to secretly poison their unborn child by “crushing pills and hiding them in oatmeal or yogurt.” Green is said to have subsequently contacted Cutler when that plan was unsuccessful.

Authorities said Green then paid Cutler with money he stole from the school’s dance team fundraiser. 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.”

Peters’ mother, Lacey Peters, spoke during Tuesday’s hearing. She said Green was supposed to be her daughter’s protector but ended up being her executioner. “All she ever did was love him,” Lacey Peters said. “And she loved that baby so much.”

Green’s accomplice Cutler was similarly sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison last week. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 27, 2024

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