Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former St. Louis School Principal Charged in Murder of Pregnant Girlfriend

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former St. Louis School Principal Charged in Murder of Pregnant Girlfriend

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * A former middle school principal has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant girlfriend, whom he allegedly paid a friend to kill.

Cornelius Green, 35, of the 200 block of North 17th Street, was indicted Thursday by the St. Louis circuit attorney's office in the death of Jocelyn Peters, a third-grade teacher at Mann Elementary School. The indictment was sealed until Tuesday.

Peters, 30, was seven months pregnant when she was found shot to death March 24 in her apartment in the 4200 block of West Pine Boulevard in the Central West End.

Green was the one who found Peters, according to the district attorney's office. He was also the father of Peters' unborn child.

Green paid his childhood friend, Phillip J. Cutler, to kill Peters, according to charging documents.

Cutler, 36, of Muskogee, Okla., was charged in June with two counts each of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the fatal shooting of Peters.

Green is being held on the same charges. His bail is set at $3 million, cash only.

He also faces three felony counts of receiving stolen property. Green was charged in August with stealing $2,700 from dance students who had raised the money for a spring break field trip while he was principal of Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School.

The theft occurred about three weeks before Peters' death. Authorities were investigating a possible link between the killing of Peters and the thefts.

Green was principal of Carr Lane until he was reassigned to an information technology job in St. Louis Public Schools over the summer. He had also disposed of more than $500 in school district money through several unauthorized transactions, the circuit attorney's office said Tuesday.

The court documents allege:

There were no signs of forced entry to Peters' apartment the day she was found dead. Both the door to the apartment complex and Peters' home were secured with locks and required keys to open them, but investigators found no evidence of forced entry on either of the doors. …

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