John Lennon’s killer is due for his 10th parole hearing in a bid to be released from prison – 38 years after he gunned down the Beatles legend outside his home.
According to multiple reports, Mark Chapman, 63, is scheduled to face a New York panel in August. He first became eligible for parole in 2000, but has been denied on nine previous occasions.
He was last denied release in 2016, when the board opposed his bid due to the “premeditated and celebrity-seeking nature of the crime”.
Chapman reportedly acknowledged at the time that his crime was “premeditated, selfish and evil”, while the board took into account his efforts to rehabilitate while in jail.
However, Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono, 85, insisted she feared for the lives of her and Lennon’s two sons, Julian and Sean, should he be released. She also reportedly insisted Chapman could be in danger himself from furious fans seeking to exact revenge for their idol’s death.
Chapman is serving a 20-year to life sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York after he was found guilty of gunning down Lennon on December 8, 1980, at his apartment building near Central Park, Manhattan. The singer was 40 years old at the time.
According to the Mail Online, he made a grovelling statement at a previous parole hearing, insisting he acted selfishly at the time and admitted he still receives letters from devastated fans.
“At that time, I wasn’t thinking about anybody else, just me,” he reportedly said.
“But now, you know, obviously through people’s letters and through things I hear a lot of people were affected here. I am sorry for causing that type of pain. I am sorry for being such an idiot and choosing the wrong way for glory.”
Lennon has gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles and at the time of his death was enjoying a successful solo career with his muse and wife, Yoko Ono. But Chapman was reportedly infuriated that the singer preached love and peace while living a millionaire’s lifestyle unavailable to the masses.
The news of Lennon’s murder shook the public, with outpourings of grief from across the globe. Since his death there have been many memorials created in his honour and remastered editions of his music released, while his songs still inspire fans and modern musicians.