Missouri middle school principal arrested for allegedly paying off friend to kill his pregnant girlfriend


Cornelius Green was charged with ordering the murder of his pregnant girlfriend.

A disgraced elementary school principal in Missouri has been arrested for paying a friend to murder his seven months pregnant girlfriend, prosecutors say.

Cornelius Green, 35, was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder Thursday for ordering his childhood friend, Philip J. Cutler, to kill Jocelyn Peters and her unborn baby on March 24, court documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch show.

Cutler, 36, was indicted on the same charges in June and was initially thought to have acted alone. But investigators became suspicious after discovering Green had sent Cutler $2,500 in cash on March 20 — four days before Peters, 30, was killed.

Court documents reveal Green picked up Cutler from a St. Louis bus station after he arrived from Muskogee, Oklahoma on March 21.

Jocelyn Peters was seven months pregnant when she was shot and killed inside her apartment.

The next morning, Green skipped town and traveled to Chicago, but left Cutler with his car keys and keys to his girlfriend’s apartment. The childhood friends remained in close contact over the following couple of days.

Green’s car was spotted in surveillance footage near Peters’ apartment about 3 a.m. on the day she was killed. An autopsy report shows Peters died from a single gunshot to the head, which also caused her unborn baby’s death. There were no signs of forced entry into her apartment.

After killing Peters, Green allegedly left the car parked nearby her apartment — a mistake that would eventually implicate Green in the murder.

Green’s friend, Philip J. Cutler, was initially believed to have acted alone.

Green returned to St. Louis later that day and discovered Peters dead in her home. When police pulled him in for questioning, Green asked to make a phone call to his daughter, but instead called his estranged wife. Green asked his ex to meet with Cutler and hand him a set of spare car keys so that he could move his car from Peters’ neighborhood — unaware that cops were listening in on the phone call.

Cutler was eventually arrested back in his Oklahoma hometown on June 9 and is now being held in St. Louis in lieu of $1 million bail. Green is being held on $3 million cash bail.

Green is also facing felony counts for allegedly stealing $2,700 from students at the performing arts middle school he used to be the principal of. The theft occurred roughly three weeks before Peters’ death and investigators are looking into whether it could have had something to do with the murder.