The Hingham mother made the comments outside a Brockton courtroom where her son, James Winquist, is set to go to trial today for the 2005 slayings of William Chrapan, 47, and David Lyons, 49. Jury selection for the trial was expected to wrap up this morning after three days and would be followed by opening remarks from the prosecution and the defense.
James Winquist watched the proceedings in the courtroom Wednesday and made a few hushed comments to his mother, seated on a back bench, before he was placed in handcuffs and led out of the courtroom.
Winquist will face the two murder charges without his one-time co-defendant, Eric Snow, who was found dead in his cell in the Plymouth County jail in March with a plastic bag over his head. That was two months before he and Winquist were originally due to go to trial.
Lisa Winquist said she was confident that her son did not commit the murders, but declined to comment on the role that Snow or any of their acquaintances may have played.
“He’s the only one I can vouch for,” she said. “I know my son didn’t do it.”
Prosecutors say Winquist and Snow attacked the two homeless men with a baseball bat and left their bodies in a former ammunition bunker near Bare Cove Park in Hingham, where they were discovered by a pedestrian in May 2005. Authorities say Winquist later showed off Chrapan’s severed hand at a party and bragged about the killings.
Winquist has been held without bail since he was arrested in 2007, more than two years after the murders. He had been living in Weymouth before his arrest. His mother called the last five years “pure hell” for her family, but said her son has managed to maintain a relationship with his daughter, Aryana, who was 8 months old when her father was arrested.
“She loves her daddy,” Lisa Winquist said. “She makes him pictures all the time.”
Authorities have said Snow and Winquist met while serving time in jail and were members of a white supremacist group that called itself the “Brotherhood of Blood.” Prosecutors said both had their nicknames tattooed on their bodies: “Killa” for Snow and “Twisted” for Winquist.
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