In this 1975 file photo, Mark David Chapman is seen at Fort Chaffee near Fort Smith, Ark. The man who shot John Lennon said he considered killing Johnny Carson and Elizabeth Taylor, but the ex-Beatle was more accessible. Thirty-five years ago on Dec. 8, Chapman shot and killed Lennon, a former Beatles member. (AP Photo/Greg Lyuan, File)
Photo: Greg Lyuan
Photo: Greg Lyuan

John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, denied parole for ninth time

The man who killed music legend and former Beatles member, John Lennon will remain behind bars.

Mark David Chapman shot and killed the songwriter 36 years ago as Lennon returned to his New York City apartment building, The Dakota, on Dec. 8, 1980, CNN reported.

Earlier that day, Lennon had signed a copy of his newest album, "Double Fantasy," for Chapman. The gunman, waiting until Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, returned to the building that evening, shot Lennon in the back, firing five rounds into the singer.

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He is being held in New York's maximum security Wende Correctional Facility, sentenced to 20 years to life after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, Reuters reported.

"In spite of many favorable factors, we find all to be outweighed by the premeditated and celebrity seeking nature of the crime," the parole board said in a statement.

"From our interview and review of your records, we find that your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate that seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for the law," the statement read.

Five people had sent letters to the parole board requesting Chapman's release. Two others, including a letter from Ono, were opposed.

Two years ago, in 2014, Chapman told the parole board that he had found Jesus and that Christ had forgiven him. 

Chapman said he targeted Lennon because of his fame and a belief that the performer was a phony for living an elite lifestyle, the New York Daily News reported.

This was the ninth denial for Chapman since 2000, Reuters reported.

The 61-year-old will be eligible for parole again in 2018.

The Chapman-owned copy of "Double Fantasy," signed by Lennon five hours before his death was sold twice at auction, once in 1999 and again in 2010, the New York Post reported.

A maintenance man had found the album near the gate of The Dakota shortly after the shooting. He turned it over to police during the investigation, The Guardian reported.

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