John Lennon killer Mark David Chapman denied parole for 11th time

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Yoko Ono continues to oppose release of man who shot Lennon outside his New York apartment in 1980

Ben Beaumont-Thomas –  The Guardian

Mark David Chapman in 2018. Photograph: AP

Mark David Chapman, who murdered John Lennon outside his New York apartment in 1980, has been denied parole for the 11th time. A parole board at Wende correctional facility near Buffalo, New York, denied Chapman’s release, though detailed reasons have not been given. He will have to wait two years before applying for parole again.

Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, who was with him when he was shot four times by Chapman, has long opposed parole, and submitted comments to the parole board that were “consistent with the prior letters”, according to her lawyer Jonas Herbsman. Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life imprisonment, and first became eligible for parole in 2000.

Prison officials published a transcript of his 10th hearing, in 2018. In it, Chapman said: “Thirty years ago I couldn’t say I felt shame and I know what shame is now. It’s where you cover your face, you don’t want to, you know, ask for anything.”

He had previously said that he killed Lennon for fame and notoriety. “I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody, and instead of that I became a murderer, and murderers are not somebodies,” he said in 2010. He chose Lennon because “he seemed more accessible to me” as his apartment building wasn’t as “cloistered” as other celebrities’. “If it wasn’t Lennon, it could have been someone else,” he said.

In 2018, he spoke of an internal “tug of war” over whether to carry out the killing, which he did hours after he had met Lennon and got a record autographed. “I was too far in,” he said. “I do remember having the thought of, ‘Hey, you have got the album now. Look at this, he signed it, just go home.’ But there was no way I was just going to go home.”

Chapman is religious and has said he would like to work with a minister if he was released. He is still married to his wife, Gloria, following their marriage 18 months before the Lennon killing.

 

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