John Lennon’s Assassin Denied Parole At Eighth Hearing
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York state corrections officials said Friday that Mark David Chapman, the man who shot and killed John Lennon back in 1980, has been denied release from prison in his eighth appearance before a parole board.
The decision on Chapman by a three-member board came after a hearing Wednesday, the state Department of Corrections said.
Chapman fired five shots on Dec. 8, 1980, outside the Dakota apartment house where Lennon lived at 72nd Street and Central Park West, hitting the ex-Beatle four times in front of his wife, Yoko Ono, and others.
Earlier that day, Lennon and Ono posed for a photo shoot by Annie Liebovitz for Rolling Stone Magazine, and Lennon gave an interview to San Francisco DJ Dave Sholin, before leaving his home in the late afternoon for the Record Plant Studio, 321 W. 44th St., to mix the song “Walking on Thin Ice.” As Lennon and Ono left, Chapman – then a 25-year-old unemployed security guard — asked Lennon to autograph his copy of the recently-released “Double Fantasy” album, a request which Lennon obliged.
When Lennon returned from the recording session around 10:50 p.m., Chapman took aim directly at Lennon’s back and opened fire. Lennon was rushed to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m. that night.
Chapman 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 lived the victim.”
At his previous hearing in 2012, Chapman described how Lennon had agreed to autograph the “Double Fantasy” 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, and that his century-old apartment building “wasn’t quite as cloistered.”
The transcript of his latest hearing wasn’t immediately released. Chapman can try again for parole in two years.
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