Former St. Louis principal pleads guilty to hiring friend to kill pregnant teacher

Booking photos for Cornelius Green (L) and Phillip Cutler (R), St. Louis County inmate records.

A former St. Louis middle school principal admitted to hiring a friend to kill a pregnant teacher who was his girlfriend.

Cornelius Green appeared in federal court Feb. 28 and pleaded guilty in a plea agreement, FOX2Now St. Louis reported.  

Jocelyn Peters was found fatally shot in her apartment in March 2016. She was seven months pregnant and prosecutors say Green was the father of the unborn baby.

Green and a friend, Phillip Cutler, were indicted in 2022 for the murder of Peters and her unborn child. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Missouri alleges that Green, who was married, had an ongoing romantic relationship with Peters. 

Authorities alleged Green devised a plan to murder Peters and their unborn child by offering cash to Cutler. 

Cutler accepted a package containing $2,500 cash at an address in Oklahoma, a press release stated, and that Green traveled to Chicago "to distance himself from the homicide."

Authorities said Cutler then broke into Peters’ apartment, found her in bed and shot her in the head using a potato as a silencer. 

Both men were also charged in state court, and prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty if the men were convicted. 

Green is pleading guilty in federal court with the hope of avoiding a death penalty trial in St. Louis Circuit Court, FOX2Now reported. 

Green was formerly the principal at Carr Lane Visual & Performing Arts Middle School near downtown St. Louis. Peters was a third-grade teacher at a St. Louis grade school.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.