[Fox News] Former Missouri school principal admits hiring hitman to kill pregnant teacher

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A former St. Louis middle school principal pleaded guilty to charges in federal court after admitting he hired his friend to kill his pregnant girlfriend in 2016. 

Federal prosecutors said Cornelius Green, formerly a principal at Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School, paid Phillip Cutler $2,500 to murder 30-year-old teacher Jocelyn Peters. Cutler is scheduled to go to trial for his alleged role.

The money was stolen from a school fund for a field trip, KSDK reported, and mailed to Cutler via UPS using the school’s address as a return address, according to a plea agreement reviewed by Fox News Digital.

Green pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges of murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. If he is sentenced to life in prison, according to the plea agreement, state charges of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action and one count of burglary will be dropped. 

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The state charges carried the possibility of the death penalty. 

Peters was a third-grade teacher at nearby Mann Elementary School and, according to The Kansas City Star, was more than 27 weeks pregnant with Green’s child. 

On February 29, 2016, about three weeks before Peters was shot dead in her Central West End apartment on March 24, 2016, Green sent a text message to Cutler asking him to come to St. Louis on the week of March 20.  

“Ok, that will work, u gonna b sending the pacge [sic]?” Cutler replied, according to the plea agreement. 

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Cutler arrived in St. Louis three days before Peters was killed, staying with Green and his sister, according to court documents. 

The next day, Green traveled to Chicago so he would have an alibi, prosecutors said. Cutler allegedly drove him to his train, and Green left him with keys to his car and Peters’ apartment. 

In the early morning hours of March 24, Cutler fatally shot Peters with a .380-caliber gun while she slept and used a potato as a silencer, according to court documents.

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The alleged hitman then called Green soon afterward to tell him Peters was dead – several hours later, at 6:40 a.m., the former principal bought an Amtrak ticket to return home, according to court documents.

When he got back to St. Louis, he feigned the discovery of Peters’ body at her apartment and called police. 

Legally, Green was married to another woman at the time of the killing and involved in several other romantic relationships, KSDK reported

Green’s sentencing is scheduled for June 5 at 10 a.m., according to the outlet, and Cutler’s trial on federal murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire charges is slated to begin on March 11. 

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