John Lennon killer Mark Chapman denied parole for 10th time

21st May 1971:  Ex-member of the Beatles, singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980) on the beach at Cannes, France.  (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
21st May 1971: Ex-member of the Beatles, singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980) on the beach at Cannes, France. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
0
Have your say

John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman has been denied parole for the 10th time.

The 63-year-old is serving life for the murder of the former Beatle in New York in December 1980.

Chapman shot Lennon, then aged 40, four times in front of the his wife Yoko Ono.

On Wednesday, Chapman appeared before a parole board in New York who denied his request for release and told him he must wait another two years before he can apply again.

The panel found his release “would be incompatible with the welfare and safety of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law”.

Its decision said: “Your criminal history report reflects that this is your only crime of record.However, that does not mitigate your actions.”

Ono, 85, has refused to comment on the parole denial through her lawyer Jonas Herbsman, who noted that she had sent the parole board a letter asking that Chapman remain in prison.

Ono, said she feared for the safety of her and Lennon’s two sons Julian and Sean, should Chapman ever be released.

She has previously argued that she was also concerned for Chapman’s own safety from revenge-seeking Beatles fans.

Chapman was deemed by the board to be a low risk for offending again and has had a clean prison record since 1994 but the panel found that, “nonetheless, none of which outweighs the gravity of your actions or the serious and senseless loss of life you have caused”.

It added: “You admittedly carefully planned and executed the murder of a world-famous person for no reason other than to gain notoriety and, while no one person’s life is any more valuable than another’s life, the fact that you chose someone who was not only a world-renowned person and beloved by millions regardless of the pain and suffering you would cause to his family, friends and so many others, you demonstrated a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life and the suffering of others.

“This fact remains a concern to this panel.”

Chapman has been held at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York since 2012, when he was transferred there from Attica. He has claimed to have found Jesus during his time in jail and became eligible for parole in 2000.

He said he shot the singer because he was envious of his fame and believed he was a phony.

His mugshot was released in light of his parole application, picturing Chapman for the first time in six years, where he looks to have lost weight and his hair has thinned.

The picture was taken in January but only released on Monday.

Chapman is kept in protective custody against his will at the correctional facility. He also works there as an administrative clerk and is allowed out of his cell at least three hours a day.

At the prison he is registered with the family reunion programme, permitting him conjugal visits from his wife Gloria Hiroko Chapman, whom he married 18 months before the murder.

Despite his applications for parole, Chapman has said he is willing to pay for the murder – “however long it takes, forever”.