Grand jury indicts former St. Louis principal accused of hiring hitman to kill pregnant teacher
“Outrageously vile, horrible or inhuman in that involved torture or depravity of mind.”
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A federal grand jury indicted a former St. Louis principal and an Oklahoma man in a murder-for-hire plot that left a pregnant woman dead in 2016.
Cornelius Green hired his childhood friend, Phillip J. Cutler, of Oklahoma, to kill 30-year-old Jocelyn Peters in 2016, the indictment alleges. Although Green was legally married, he began dating Peters who then became pregnant. Between Feb. 29, 2016, and Oct. 11, 2016, investigators believe Green hatched his plan to kill Peters and her unborn child. Peters was a teacher at Mann Elementary in St. Louis City while Green was the former principal at Carr Lane Visual Performing Arts School.
Prosecutors allege the murder was “outrageously vile, horrible or inhuman in that involved torture or depravity of mind.”
“What we have here is an apparent murder for hire,” said Jennifer Joyce, Former St. Louis Circuit Attorney. “What we do know is Mr. Green did send Mr. Cutler through the mail $2,500 cash.”
On March 7, 2016, Cutler allegedly received the money in a UPS package in Oklahoma. Court records show Cutler was visiting in St. Louis the week of Peter’s murder and stayed at one of the former principal’s homes. Green traveled to Chicago to distance himself from the murder. Seventeen days later, Cutler drove Green’s Kia Optima and broke into Peters apartment in the 4200 block of West Pine. Utilizing a potato as a silencer to muffle the sound, police said Cutler shot Peters in the head while she was in her bed. She was seven months pregnant at the time of the shooting.
Green was arrested in August 2016, on theft charges, for allegedly stealing $2,700 from a student dance group at the school where he used to be a principal. Green faces two counts of first-degree murder. Cutler was also charged with various crimes related to the murder.
In 2017, prosecutors sought the death penalty for both men.
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