Former Principal Sentenced for Hiring Friend to Kill Girlfriend

A former Missouri school principal was sentenced in late June to two consecutive life terms for his role in a murder-for-hire plot to kill his pregnant girlfriend and unborn child.

According to a June 25 news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, Cornelius Green, 42, the former principal of Carr Lane Middle School in St. Louis, pleaded guilty in February to murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire in the 2016 murders of schoolteacher Joceyln Peters, 30, and her unborn child, Micah Leigh.

Green’s co-defendant 46-year-old Phillip Cutler of Oklahoma was convicted in March for the same charges and sentenced on June 18 to two consecutive life terms.

When pleading guilty in February, Green admitted that he paid Cutler with money he stole from the school to kill Peters, who was 31 weeks pregnant with his child.

According to federal prosecutors, Peters had been pregnant twice before by Green, one ended in a miscarriage, and the other was terminated at Green’s urging. However, Peters was determined to keep Micah Leigh, unaware that Green planned to poison the child by lacing Peters’ food with drugs.

When the planned poisoning failed, Green hired Cutler to murder Peters.

Green shipped $2,500 in cash to Culter via UPS on March 7, 2016.

Two weeks later, as Cutler was arriving in St. Louis to carry out the murder, Green took the train to Chicago to establish an alibi, leaving Cutler the keys to his vehicle and Peters’ apartment.

On March 24, Cutler drove Green’s vehicle to Peters’ St. Louis home where he used the keys to enter and, using a potato as a silencer, shot Peters in the eye as she was filling out invitations to a baby shower.

According to prosecutors, Green went shopping with Peters to ensure there were potatoes in her apartment before Cutler arrived to kill her.

The following morning, after Cutler informed him that Peters and the baby were dead, Green bought a return ticket to St. Louis. Meanwhile Green disposed of the evidence in North Riverfront Park.

When he returned to St. Louis, Green promptly went to Peters’ apartment and called 911 to report her murder.

At Green’s sentencing hearing, Jocelyn’s mother Lacey Peters described the father of her dead grandchild as an “executioner” and said that all her daughter “ever did was love him.”