Len­non killer de­nied pa­role in 10th at­tempt

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

NEW YORK: The man who gunned down rock icon John Len­non nearly 38 years ago failed in his 10th try to win free­dom from a prison sen­tence that could keep him be­hind bars for the rest of his life, prison au­thor­i­ties said on Thurs­day.

A state board de­nied pa­role for Mark David Chap­man, 63, and told him he would have to wait an­other two years un­til it con­sid­ers him for re­lease again, said the New York Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions and Com­mu­nity Su­per­vi­sion.

“The panel has de­ter­mined that your re­lease would be in­com­pat­i­ble with the wel­fare and safety of so­ci­ety,” a three-mem­ber panel of the state Board of Pa­role told Chap­man in a let­ter.

Chap­man, who has pre­vi­ously said he was se­verely trou­bled when he shot the former Bea­tle and was seek­ing to gain no­to­ri­ety, is serv­ing 20 years to life af­ter plead­ing guilty to sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in 1981.

Known as in­mate 81A3860, Chap­man has been held at the Wende Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity in Alden, New York, just east of Buf­falo, since 2012 when he was trans­ferred from At­tica, about 24km away.

Len­non had re­cently ended a mu­si­cal hia­tus with the re­lease of his Dou­ble Fan­tasy al­bum when he re­turned to his home on Man­hat­tan’s Up­per West Side on De­cem­ber 8, 1980 af­ter a night record­ing ses­sion. Chap­man was wait­ing for him out­side and shot him four times in front of his wife Yoko Ono.

The as­sas­si­na­tion-style mur­der stunned the mu­sic world, a gen­er­a­tion that had grown up with “Beatle­ma­nia” and the city the Bri­tish-born mu­si­cian had adopted as his home.

Ono, 85, has stead­fastly op­posed pa­role for her hus­band’s killer, who she pre­vi­ously has said poses a risk to her, Len­non’s two sons, the public and him­self.

At his pre­vi­ous pa­role hear­ing in Au­gust 2016, Chap­man de­scribed his younger self as a so­ciopath with low self-es­teem and sui­ci­dal thoughts who was trapped by the in­escapable idea of killing Len­non to gain fame.

“I was ob­sessed on one thing and that was shoot­ing him so that I could be some­body,” said Chap­man, whose re­cent prison photo shows a much leaner man than the pudgy 25-year-old with wire-rim glasses who was booked af­ter the mur­der.

“And 35 years later I see what a hor­ri­ble de­ci­sion that was and how self­ish it was,” he added, ac­cord­ing to a tran­script – Reuters

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