Man linked to Nick Winsor murder says media reports wrong

A man accused of helping an alleged killer after a fatal shooting in St. John's says the media got his story wrong.

Jonathan Rowe insists he only brought lawyer to accused killer

Jonathan Rowe insists he hasn't been charged with helping accused killer Phillip Pynn escape the scene of a fatal shooting. (CBC)

A man accused of helping an alleged killer after a fatal shooting in St. John's says the media got his story wrong.

Jonathan Rowe, 31, admits playing a role in the events connected with the shooting death of Nick Winsor on Portugal Cove Road in July 2011, but says it's far different than what's been reported in the news.

Rowe has been out on bail since being charged after Winsor was shot during a botched robbery three years ago.

Phillip Pynn, 28, and co-accused Lyndon Bulter, 25, are due to stand trial in November on charges of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Nick Winsor, 20, in July 2011. (CBC)
Based on the formal charge, media have reported that Rowe allegedly helped the accused shooter, Phillip Pynn, escape the scene.

The formal charge states that Rowe, " ... knowing that Phillip Pynn had murdered Nicholas Winsor, did assist Phillip Pynn for the purpose of enabling Phillip Pynn to escape, contrary to section 240 of the criminal code."

With few other details to go on, the media have interpreted that to mean Rowe helped Pynn get away.

But Rowe's comments in court on Tuesday puts things in a different light.

"I brought him legal counsel," he said.

"I'm only technically charged with bringing [defence lawyer] Averill Baker to Philip Pynn. I brought him legal counsel, but they tell you guys how to report it, and you guys report it, and then my mother calls me freaking that I'm down doing stuff. That's not right."

Baker had been Pynn's lawyer for several years before the Winsor shooting, but she was ordered to remove herself from defending him on a second-degree murder charge due to a conflict. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

In effect, Rowe appears to be caught in the middle of a murder case, but insists he only helped bring Baker to Pynn.

Insists he's innocent

Rowe has pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is scheduled to stand trial in Supreme Court in November.

Pynn, 28, and co-accused Lyndon Butler, 25, are due to stand trial for the second-degree murder of Winsor in September.

Meanwhile, Rowe was in court Tuesday to fight a charge of breaching conditions of his bail, namely to obey a curfew. He argued he was home when the police came to check on him, but that he and his girlfriend were asleep and didn't hear them at the door.

He was acquitted, but not based on his excuse. He was let go on a technicality after the judge was given the wrong information about Rowe's bail conditions.

With files from Glenn Payette