Married Missouri Principal Admits to Hiring Hitman to Kill Teacher Who was Pregnant with His Child

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Jocelyn Peters, Cornelius M. Green and Phillip Cutler
Jocelyn Peters (from left) Cornelius M. Green and Philip Cutler. Twitter

A former St. Louis middle school principal who hired a friend to kill his pregnant girlfriend pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to felony charges of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire.

As reported by KSDK, federal prosecutors said Cornelius M. Green, a principal at Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School, paid Phillip Cutler $2,500 to murder Jocelyn Peters and her unborn child inside her Central West End apartment in March 2016.

Peters was 27 Weeks Pregnant with Green's Child

Peters, 30, was more than 27 weeks pregnant with her and Green's child. On Feb. 29, about three weeks before Peters' murder, Green sent a text message to Cutler, asking him to come to St. Louis the week of March 20.

"Ok, that will work, u gonna b sending the pacge?" Cutler responded, according to the plea agreement.

A week later, Green sent a UPS package containing money to Cutler, who lived in Oklahoma. Green had stolen the money from the school where he worked and used the school's address as the return address on the package.

Green Traveled to Chicago So He Would Have an Alibi for Peters' Murder

On March 21, three days before Peters was murdered, Cutler traveled to St. Louis and stayed with Green and his sister for the next several nights. The next day, Green and Cutler drove to the Gateway Transportation Center in downtown St. Louis, where Green boarded an Amtrak train to Chicago. He left behind a set of keys to his car and to Peters' apartment.

According to prosecutors, Green traveled to Chicago so he'd have an alibi for his girlfriend's murder. In the early morning hours of March 24, Cutler drove to Peters' apartment on West Pine Street and found her in her bed. He fatally shot her in the head with a .380-caliber gun, using a potato to muffle the sound of the shot.

Green was Married to Another Woman, Involved in Multiple Romantic Relationships

Cutler then called Green to tell him that his girlfriend was dead. Green was legally married to another woman and involved in multiple romantic relationships with other women at the time of Peters' murder.

At about 6:40 a.m., Green bought an Amtrak ticket to return to St. Louis. When he arrived in St. Louis, he went directly to Peters' apartment and called 911, pretending he had no knowledge of her murder.

If Green is sentenced to life in prison on the federal charges, the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office will drop state charges of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and one count of burglary, according to the plea agreement. The state charges carried the possibility of the death penalty.

Judge Ronnie L. White set Green's sentencing for June 5 at 10 a.m. Cutler is also charged with murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. His trial is scheduled to begin on March 11 unless he reaches a plea agreement with prosecutors.