Parole denied again for John Lennon’s killer
NEW YORK (AP) – John Lennon’s killer was denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board, correction officials said Friday.
The decision on Mark David Chapman by a three-member board came after a hearing Wednesday, the state Department of Corrections said.
Chapman fired five shots on December 8, 1980, outside the Dakota apartment house where Lennon lived on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, hitting the ex-Beatle four times in front of his wife, Yoko Ono, and others. He was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
An attorney for Ono said Friday that she had no immediate comment.
The panel wrote to the 59-year-old Chapman that it concluded that if released, “you would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law.” It added: “This victim had displayed kindness to you earlier in the day, and your actions have devastated a family and those who loved the victim.”
At his previous hearing in 2012, Chapman described how Lennon had agreed to autograph an album cover for him earlier on the day of the killing.
“He was very kind to me,” he said.
After that, “I did try to tell myself to leave. I’ve got the album, take it home, show my wife, everything will be fine,” he said. “But I was so compelled to commit that murder that nothing would have dragged me away from the building.”
At a 2010 hearing, Chapman recalled that he had considered shooting Johnny Carson or Elizabeth Taylor instead, and said again that he chose Lennon because the ex-Beatle was more accessible, that his century-old apartment building by Central Park “wasn’t quite as cloistered.”
The transcript of his latest hearing wasn’t immediately released. Chapman can try again for parole in two years.