Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Lennon's killer denied parole again

John Lennon was killed in New York in December 1980

John Lennon's killer has been denied release from prison in his seventh appearance before a parole board.

Mark Chapman, 57, was denied parole after a hearing on Wednesday, the New York Department of Corrections said.

Chapman shot Lennon in December 1980 outside the Manhattan apartment building where the former Beatle lived.

He was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Chapman was transferred in May from the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York to the nearby Wende Correctional Facility. Both are maximum security. The prison system does not disclose why inmates are transferred.

He can try again for parole in two years.

At his previous hearing, Chapman recalled that he had considered shooting Johnny Carson or Elizabeth Taylor instead and said he chose Lennon because he was more accessible, that his apartment building by Central Park "wasn't quite as cloistered".

Chapman fired five shots outside the Dakota apartment building on December 8, 1980, hitting Lennon four times in front of his wife, Yoko Ono, and others.

The former security guard said his motivation was instant notoriety but that he later realised he made a horrible decision for selfish reasons. "I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer, and murderers are not somebodies," Chapman told the board two years ago.

Ono, 79, had said two years ago that she was trying to be "practical" in asking that her husband's killer remain behind bars. She said Chapman might be a danger to her, other family members and perhaps even himself.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Leo:

Trust your intuition about a domestic matter. If you think it's time to get a new place, start looking for one. You could find a home that cultivates tranquillity and relaxation. Escaping the fray will be a relief. Although you enjoy socialising, you also crave private time. Being able to watch movies, read books and listen to music replenishes your batteries. A needy relative could request help. This would be a good time to establish some healthy boundaries. Stop dropping everything for this relative's benefit.More