John Lennon's killer denied parole for 7th time

Mark David Chapman, who killed former Beatle John Lennon 32 years ago, was denied parole.

Mark David Chapman was arrested for the 1980 murder of John Lennon. Picture: NY State Dept of Corrections.

NEW YORK - Mark David Chapman, who shot and killed former Beatle John Lennon 32 years ago, was denied parole for a seventh time, New York State's Department of Corrections said on Thursday.

Chapman, 57, is serving a prison sentence of 20 years to life for shooting Lennon four times in the back outside the musician's New York City apartment building on December 8, 1980. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Chapman has come up for parole every two years since 2000 and has been turned down each time.

"Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime," Sally Thompson, the parole board's "deciding board member, wrote to Chapman, according to a department statement.

A parole board hearing on Chapman was held earlier this week at Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Alden, New York, where he is being held, the department said.

After his last hearing in 2010, the three-member parole board cited in denying the request the disregard Chapman "displayed for the norms of our society and the sanctity of human life."

Ahead of that hearing, the parole division received dozens of letters arguing against Chapman's release, including one from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who said she believed Chapman posed a risk to her, Lennon's two sons, the public and himself.

Chapman was transferred in May to Wende from Attica Correctional Facility, the maximum-security penitentiary in Attica, New York, where he had been held for 31 years.

A corrections spokesman said at the time Chapman was placed in protective custody at Wende, but the reason was not made public. Wende is in western New York, east of Buffalo.