Trial begins on 2 bludgeoning deaths in Hingham bunker; one victim’s hand was severed

BROCKTON — Two men, who formed a gang they called “The Brotherhood of the Blood,” bludgeoned two men to death inside an old bunker in Hingham in 2005 in an effort to raise their status, prosecutors said Thursday.

Before they left the 18-square-foot concrete enclosure at Bare Cove Park, the killers cut off the right hand of one of the victims. They later showed it off at parties like a trophy, and even bragged about the night they “earned their bones,” a phrase they used to indicate a killing carried out in honor of their white supremacist code, prosecutors said during opening statements in the trial of James Winquist, which began Thursday in Brockton Superior Court.

“The bunker had four walls and a roof to protect them from the elements, but it couldn’t protect Bill Chrapan and David Lyons from their killers,” said John Bradley, a Plymouth County prosecutor. Chrapan and Lyons had been sleeping off their drunkeness in the bunker on the night they were killed.

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“One of those killers sits right here in this courtroom ladies and gentlemen,” Bradley said. “James Winquist,” he said, sweeping his arm toward the defendant, who was sitting about 30 feet away.

The trial got underway after three days of jury selection during which the prosecution and defense exhausted all peremptory challenges to settle on a 13-woman, 3-man jury.

Eric Snow, who allegedly participated in the murders with Winquist, committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial.

Winquist’s attorney, Joseph Krowski Jr., said in his opening statement that there is no physical evidence tying his client to the murders, and that witnesses who are scheduled to testify for the prosecution are unreliable.

A third member of the gang told associates that he killed Chrapan and Lyons, and was seen by a witness with the severed hand, Krowski said.