SYDNEY — A 34-year-old former Glace Bay man pleaded guilty Monday to being an accessory to murder and will be sentenced March 21.
John Wayne Hynes, now of Richmond Street in Halifax, pleaded guilty to assisting Thomas Ted Barrett, 38, of Glace Bay, dispose of the body of Brett Elizabeth McKinnon, 21, so Barrett could escape prosecution. The offence occurred between June and December 2006.
Barrett is charged with second-degree murder in connection with McKinnon's death and faces a similar charge in the death of 21-year-old Laura Catherine Jessome of Bras d'Or, whose body was found in a hockey bag along the shore of the Mira River, near Marion Bridge, last May. Three other men are also charged in connection with Jessome's murder. Two are charged with being accessories while the third is charged with second-degree.
McKinnon of Glace Bay, was last seen in early June 2006, and was reported missing on July 13 of that year. Her skeletal remains were found in November 2006, near a former municipal dump site.
Crown prosecutor Diane MacGrath entered a statement of facts Monday in connection with the crime in which Hynes admitted to police his role in the case.
MacGrath said when Hynes was arrested on the charge, he told police that he, Barrett, McKinnon and another girl were doing crack cocaine at Barrett's home when Hynes left to buy more baking soda in order to cook the crack.
He returned to the home but was unable to get in so he left the baking soda on the step.
MacGrath said Hynes told police he attempted to ignore Barrett's subsequent repeated calls to come over to his home but finally relented after about a week or two.
He told investigators that once inside the home, Barrett was adamant he not venture upstairs and that he stay out of a specific bedroom.
MacGrath said Hynes admitted to helping Barrett remove a rolled up carpet from the bedroom and place it in the trunk of Barrett's car. The pair drove to an area near the Cameron Bowl baseball diamond in Glace Bay, walked into the woods and placed the carpet on the ground. Hynes, said MacGrath, was certain there was a body in the carpet.
Hynes told police he was well aware of Barrett's violent streak and knew Barrett kept a gun in the vehicle along with several weapons at home.
In the fall of 2006, Hynes was arrested on an unrelated matter and told police then about what he deemed to be a murder involving Barrett.
MacGrath explained that police had already received what they believed to be credible information concerning a sighting of McKinnon in Ontario and decided against pursuing a homicide investigation based on information supplied by Hynes.
Hynes, who was charged with being an accessory in January 2013, continues to be on remand in a provincial jail.