Former Principal Receives Sentence in Murder-for-Hire Plot

Former Principal Receives Sentence in Murder-for-Hire Plot

( – Prosecutors with the Justice Department (DOJ) in the Eastern District of Missouri announced that Judge Ronnie White sentenced a former St. Louis middle school principal on Tuesday, June 25. Corneilus Green received two consecutive life sentences for conspiracy to commit murder for hire and murder for hire in the killings of Jocelyn Peters, his pregnant elementary school teacher girlfriend, and their unborn child, Micah Leigh.

Green took a plea deal with state and federal prosecutors. He agreed to plead guilty to the federal charges, which carried life sentences if the state would drop its charges, for which he might have faced the death penalty. The sentence finally ends the Peters family’s eight-year quest for justice.

Green, 42, was a married principal at St. Louis’s Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School. Federal investigators found he had a long-term relationship with Peters, who believed he was divorcing his wife. He also dated several other women and developed another long-term relationship with a woman who thought they were exclusive. Peters wasn’t aware of any other relationships.

Peters, 30, became pregnant with Micah Leigh by Green in 2015. She had previously miscarried a pregnancy by Green, and he had also coerced her to terminate another, so she remained determined to carry Micah Leigh to term, according to investigators.

However, prosecutors alleged that Green unsuccessfully researched ways to poison Peters to terminate the pregnancy. After failing, he called Phillip Cutler, his friend from Muskogee, Oklahoma, in March 2016, asking him to kill Peters before she gave birth. She was seven months pregnant. Prosecutors alleged that Green didn’t want to pay child support or give up his uncommitted lifestyle.

According to a press release, Green embezzled $2,500 from his school and sent the cash to Cutler via UPS in a package with a return address from the school where he served as principal. Dr. Nicole Conaway, then-principal of Horace Mann Elementary School, where Peters worked at the time of her murder, pointed out that Green “literally stole from children to pay for killing his own child.”

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