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Pair pleads not guilty in slayings

The friends are accused of killing two men, then showing off a hand.

September 05, 2007|From the Associated Press

HINGHAM, MASS. — Two friends accused of beating two homeless men to death with baseball bats, then using one man's severed hand to brag about the killings at a party, pleaded not guilty to murder Tuesday.

Eric Snow and James Winquist were ordered held without bail at their arraignment in Hingham District Court.

The men were arrested Friday in the deaths of William Chrapan, 44, and David Lyons, 46, whose bodies were found May 9, 2005, in an abandoned military bunker outside Bare Cove Park in Hingham. Police believe they were killed that April.

It was not clear what motivated the attack.

Police said two witnesses told them that Snow, 25, and Winquist, 23, bragged about the slayings at a party in Hingham, where they showed off Chrapan's severed right hand.

"Mr. Winquist told the witnesses that this hand was the hand that had been cut off from a homeless man who they had killed at Bare Cove Park," Sgt. Leonard Coppenarth wrote in a police report. "These witnesses told me that they had seen and heard Eric Snow and James Winquist mock the two murder victims by making gurgling sounds to imitate the death of the two homeless men."

Investigators found Chrapan's hand buried near a utility pole not far from Snow's mother's house in Bridgewater.

A witness said the men, who have long criminal histories, were members of a white supremacy group. The victims' races were not immediately clear. A district attorney spokeswoman did not return a call to the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Lisa Winquist denied that her son was a white supremacist. Snow's relatives did not speak to reporters after the hearing.

They are scheduled to return to court Oct. 5.

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