Cornelius Green has been charged with the murder of Jocelyn Peters who was pregnant at the time of her death in 2016. According to police reports Cornelius Green (above image on the left) would plan with childhood friend Phillip Cutler to murder Jocelyn Peters who became pregnant while the two were having an affair. While Phillip Cutler was murdering the pregnant school teacher Cornelius Green, a former principal, was conveniently out of town. Phillip Cutler would break into Jocelyn Peters apartment and fatally shoot her. Investigators were able to track a package that Cornelius Green used to pay Phillip Cutler. Cornelius Green who would be arrested for theft for stealing from the school he used to be a principal at. Now Cornelius Green and Phillip Cutler are facing two counts of murder and could be sentenced to death.
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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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A federal grand jury indicted Cornelius M. Green and Phillip J. Cutler on March 9, 2022, for conspiracy to commit murder for hire and murder for hire that resulted in the death of Jocelyn Peters and her unborn child in 2016.
The indictment alleges that Green and Cutler had a longstanding and close friendship and Green, already legally married to another was involved in an ongoing romantic relationship with Jocelyn Peters. In 2015, Ms. Peters became pregnant, with Green being the father of the unborn child.
Beginning at an exact time unknown but including February 29, 2016, through October 11, 2016, within the Eastern District of Missouri and elsewhere, Green devised a plan to murder Peters and her unborn child. Part of that plan was that Green offered cash to Cutler for the murder of Peters and her unborn child.
It is alleged on or about March 7, 2016, Green sent a package via United Parcel Service containing $2500.00 to Cutler, who accepted the package at an address in Oklahoma. As part of the conspiracy, it is alleged that Cutler traveled to St. Louis on March 21, 2016, staying at a residence occupied by Green. The next day, Green traveled to Chicago, Illinois allegedly to distance himself from the homicide.
It was further part of the conspiracy that on or about March 24, 2016, Cutler traveled to the area of 4236 W. Pine in Green’s 2013 Kia Optima, unlawfully entered Jocelyn Peters’ apartment, Unit #201, found Peters in her bed, shot her with a .380 caliber firearm in the head while using a potato as a silencer to muffle the sound of the shot.
Cornelius Green and Cutler were both charged for a variety of crimes related to the murder of Peters and her unborn child by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office and are currently incarcerated awaiting trial.
Charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted in cooperation with the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.