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John Lennon’s Killer Denied Parole for Ninth Time

John Lennon Mark David Chapman
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

John Lennon‘s murderer has seen his ninth parole hearing end the same way the previous eight did: with his request for freedom denied.

The New York Daily News reports that Mark David Chapman, who shot Lennon to death on Dec. 8, 1980, and was subsequently sentenced to 20 years to life, will remain in prison for at least another two years after his latest meeting with the three-member parole panel.

Although no official reason for the denial has been publicly given, the News earlier reported that the board had received five letters supporting Chapman’s release since his last hearing in 2014 — and two opposing parole, including a new letter from Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, who reportedly wrote expressing fear for her own safety and the safety of Lennon’s children if he were returned to society.

Chapman remains held at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York’s Erie County, where he is reportedly kept under “protective custody against his will.” According to the Daily News report, he told the board at his previous parole hearing that he’s been in contact with a minister who’s offered to take him in if he’s released, and has apparently learned how to repair wheelchairs while serving his sentence.

The Daily News also notes that Chapman has maintained a clean prison record for more than 20 years — and he has reportedly expressed regret for killing Lennon, apologizing for being an “idiot” — but the parole board has previously argued that releasing him would “undermine respect for the law.”

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