Principal pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot of pregnant teacher

Posted at 11:46 AM, March 4, 2024

ST. LOUIS (Court TV) — A Missouri principal will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot of his pregnant mistress.

booking photos of Phillip Cutler and Cornelius Green

Phillip Cutler (L) and Cornelius Green (R) were indicted in the murder of Jocelyn Peters. (St. Louis City Justice Center)

Cornelius Green, a principal in the St. Louis City Public Schools, was indicted in 2022 for the 2016 murder of Jocelyn Peters, who prosecutors said was carrying his child.

Green was married and had carried on multiple affairs with women, including Peters. In 2015, Peters, a middle school teacher, told Green that she was pregnant with his child. At the time of her death, Peters was 27 weeks pregnant.

While both Green and Peters worked in the St. Louis City Public Schools, they worked at different schools in the district, KMOV reported.

Prosecutors said that Green, not wanting to take responsibility for the child, enlisted his longtime friend Phillip Cutler in a plot to murder Peters. Green paid Cutler $2,500, which was sent in a UPS package that had Carr Lane Middle School, where Green worked, as a return address. Green admitted that he stole the money from the school.

Cutler is accused of breaking into Peters’ apartment and shooting her in the head, using a potato as a silencer. At the time of the shooting, Cutler, who lived in Oklahoma, was staying in Green’s home.

In the plea agreement, Green pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire and was sentenced to life in prison for each count. The agreement does not require that he testify against Cutler, who has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

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