Accused getaway driver in murder case will go to trial

Jonathan Rowe will be arraigned in December on charges of accessory after the fact in connection with 2011 Portugal Cove Road homicide.

Jonathan Rowe charged with accessory after the fact in death of Nick Winsor

Jonathan Rowe is pictured in court in a June file photo. (CBC)

A man accused of being the getaway driver in a homicide on Portugal Cove Road in St. John’s last year is going to trial.

The preliminary hearing for Jonathan Rowe, 29, wrapped up at provincial court Wednesday afternoon.

Rowe is charged with being an accessory after the fact in the death of Nick Winsor.

The defence agreed the matter should go to trial.

Rowe's lawyer, Ray Kuszelewski, says a preliminary hearing is only required to determine whether there is a question in law to be answered — something he says is clear in this case.

"The question is simply this: is it an accessory after the fact for an individual to take an accused person, or a potentially accused person, from one place and deliver them to their lawyer?" Kuszelewski said outside court Wednesday.

"That’s the question in law that some judge, or some judge and jury, is going to have to answer."

Rowe is facing charges in connection with the 2011 shooting death of Nick Winsor.

Nick Winsor, seen in a photograph posted to his Facebook page, was killed last July. ((CBC))

Winsor and two other men were allegedly trying to rob a homeowner on Portugal Cove Road when Winsor was killed.

The other men — Philip Pynn and Lyndon Butler — are facing second-degree murder charges.

Rowe is accused of being an accessory after the fact, for allegedly helping Pynn escape.

Rowe will appear at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court for an arraignment hearing on Dec. 3.

But according to his defence lawyer, Rowe’s trial will follow the cases against Pynn and Butler.

That, Kuszelewski says, is because any acquittals related to those charges would effectively wipe out proceedings against Rowe.

His client couldn’t be convicted of being accessory to a crime that a court found didn’t happen.

"And then Mr. Rowe’s case pretty much disappears," Kuszelewski said.