Update: RNC says it doesn't anticipate further arrests in murder case

Twenty-nine year-old St. John’s man charged with helping accused killer escape

Rosie Mullaley rmullaley@thetelegram.com
Published on April 13, 2012

RNC Const. Talia Murphy spoke to reporters today outside RNC offices regarding Thursday’s arrest of Jonathan Eugene Rowe, 29, in connection with the 2011 murder of 20-year-old Nick Winsor on Portugal Cove Road in St. John’s.

Murphy said Rowe was arrested due to information gathered during the investigation.

She said the RNC doesn’t anticipate any more charges in the case, however, the investigation is continuing.



(Earlier story)

Nine months after a 20-year-old man was shot dead in a St. John’s house, police have arrested a third person believed to have been connected with the murder.

Jonathan Eugene Rowe made a brief appearance in provincial court late Thursday afternoon, hours after his arrest.

Reporters were abuzz while awaiting Rowe’s arrival outside Courtroom No 7.

The 29-year-old capital city man didn’t say anything as he was led in and out of court by sheriff’s officers.

Rowe has been charged with being an accessory to murder by reportedly helping another accused man, Philip Wayne Pynn, escape from the scene after Nick Winsor was killed.

Senior provincial Crown Francis Knickle and duty counsel Jane Fitzpatrick agreed to set Rowe’s case over until April 20. Judge Greg Brown ordered that Rowe appear via video from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary that day.

At Knickle’s request, Rowe was ordered to have no contact or communication with the two other co-accused — Pynn and Lyndon Malcolm Butler — along with another man, Gerry Kinsella.

The murder happened on July 9, 2011, on 271 Portugal Cove Road.

Police were first called to the house at around 10:30 p.m. When officers arrived, they found Winsor dead and another man wounded. The injured man was treated at hospital and released a short time later.

Police confirmed the murder was not a random act of violence.

Three days later, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary took 25-year-old Pynn into custody. The next day, Butler, 22, was arrested.

The two are jointly charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder, and face other charges, including possession of a dangerous weapon, assault with a weapon and attempted robbery.

Pynn is also charged with pointing a firearm, a breach of probation and two breaches of recognizance.

A preliminary inquiry for both Pynn and Butler has been scheduled to begin June 28. The hearing — which determines whether there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial — is expected to last three weeks.

Pynn remains behind bars, while Butler was released from jail March 29 on strict conditions.

Pynn is represented by Mark Gruchy, while Butler’s lawyer is Jeff Brace.


Murder investigation continues

It has yet to be determined whether Rowe will be retaining private counsel. It’s also not known if the Crown in this province will be handling Rowe’s case.

A Halifax lawyer, Brian Casey, was retained last month by the Crown here to handle the prosecution against Pynn and Brown.

The reason a lawyer from outside the province is needed in the case has been banned from publication, at the request of the Crown.

Born in Red Deer, Alta., Casey is with the Halifax law firm Boyne-Clarke. He spent 15 years in St. John’s in private practice and in special prosecutions.

He was counsel in cases for the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the Christian Brothers, NL Human Rights Commission, NL Nurses Union and NL Hydro. He also represented such high-profile people as Henry Morgentaler and Paul Watson.

Police, meanwhile, are continuing to investigate Winsor’s murder.

They’re asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the RNC office at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Information can also be provided anonymously on the NL Crime Stoppers Website at www.nlcrimestoppers.com.


Twitter: @TelyCourt

This article has been changed to correct factual errors.