John Lennon's killer coming up for parole for a 10th time

John Lennon’s killer is hoping that a state parole board will give him his freedom at last.

Mark David Chapman is scheduled to appear before a parole panel the week of August 20.

For Chapman, it will be the tenth time he’s been eligible for parole. The previous nine he’s been rejected.

But this year, the Parole Board has been more willing to place heavier emphasis to an inmate’s behavior behind bars than simply focus on the severity of the crime. Several cop killers and other notorious murderers who had been long denied parole were set free in recent months.

In the past, the Parole Board — even while citing Chapman's clean prison record since 1994 — has cited "the premeditated and celebrity seeking nature of the crime" and routinely said that releasing him would "undermine respect for the law".

Chapman, 63, shot Lennon on December 8, 1980, as the famed ex-Beatle and wife Yoko Ono returned to their Dakota building home across from Central Park after a late night recording session.

Sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, Chapman currently resides at upstate Wende Correctional Facility.

In past parole hearings, the once pudgy killer has claimed to have found Jesus while behind bars.

Even while denying him his release in 2016, the last time he came up for parole, the panel members commended Chapman for "your acceptance of responsibility and vivid characterization of your crime as premeditated, selfish and evil".

11 PHOTOS
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
See Gallery
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Carly Simon (pregnant) Yoko Ono James Taylor and John Lennon; circa 1960; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)
Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono lies in a bathtub with British singer and musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980), late 1960s. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
View of the back cover of the record album 'Two Virgins,' by British musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Japanese-born musician and artist Yoko Ono, 1968. The two are both completely naked, save for Lennon's glasses and necklace. (Photo by Blank Archives/Getty Images)
View of a censored version of the front cover of the record album 'Two Virgins,' by British musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Japanese-born musician and artist Yoko Ono, 1968. A plain brown sleeve covers the original art which features the two musicians both completely naked, save for Lennon's glasses and necklace; a pair of cut-outs reveal the album title and the musician's heads. (Photo by Blank Archives/Getty Images)
Beatle John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and his girlfriend Yoko Ono outside the Robert Fraser Gallery, where Lennon's work is on show at the gallery in an exhibition entitled 'You Are Here', London, July 1968. Lennon is about to release 365 helium-filled balloons to mark the occasion. (Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Close-up portrait of Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
Yoko Ono and John Lennon at a press conference in 1968 in Montreux, Switzerland. (Photo by Gunter Zint/K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - APRIL 01: John Lennon And Yoko Ono In A Bagism Way On April 1969 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Yoko Ono pose on the steps of the Apple building in London, holding one of the posters that they distributed to the world's major cities as part of a peace campaign protesting against the Vietnam War, December 1969. The poster reads 'War Is Over, If You Want It'. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Yoko Ono at home in Ascot, England, circa 1971. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The board also said it considered his "network of support and release plan" and his record and behavior behind bars, but ultimately kept him locked up.

Chapman has said he targeted Lennon because of his fame and a twisted belief that the rocker was a phony for living an elite lifestyle.

He is kept in protective custody against his will and works as an administrative clerk. He's allowed out of his cell a minimum of three hours a day.

Chapman also is registered in the prison system’s “family reunion” program, which allows him conjugal visits with his wife, Gloria Hiroko Chapman, who married him 18 months before the murder, and visits with his stepfather. His wife could not be reached for comment.

Chapman in previous parole hearings said he's willing to pay for his crime in prison “however long it takes, forever.”

A lawyer for Ono did not return requests for comment about Chapman’s latest parole hearing.

Ono has sent a letter every time Chapman has gone before the board asking that he be kept locked up not only for the safety of her and the slain Beatle’s two sons, but also for Chapman’s, who she said could be at risk of harm from still-angry Lennon fans.

Read Full Story