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John Lennon killer Mark David Chapman has parole hearing


UPI News Service, 08/20/2012 

Mark David Chapman, could find out this week if he will be released from jail, 32 years after killing former Beatle John Lennon, New York prison officials said.

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Chapman, 57, could find out Thursday or Friday if he will be released on parole, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision was cited by ABC News Monday as saying.

Chapman was moved May 15 from New York's super-maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility 18 miles west to the maximum-security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo.

The department would not disclose the reason for his move. Spokesman Peter Cutler told The New York Times inmates "can be moved periodically for a variety of reasons."

Chapman -- who once said he thought of killing Johnny Carson, Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis before deciding on Lennon -- told a parole board in 2010 his Christian faith deepened while in prison, and he hoped to get a job and live with his wife after release from prison.

Chapman married Japanese-American former travel agent Gloria Hiroko Abe, who now lives in the Honolulu suburb of Kailua, in June 1979, 18 months before he gunned down Lennon outside The Dakota apartment building next to New York's Central Park, Dec. 8, 1980.

Chapman pulled a 38-caliber revolver and fired five shots at Lennon after getting the former Beatle to autograph a copy of the "Double Fantasy" album Lennon released with his wife, Yoko Ono, that year.

The album won the 1981 Album of the Year at the 24th Grammy Awards.

The New York Daily News reported in 2008 Chapman was enjoying conjugal visits with his wife at Attica prison at least once a year since 1990.The 44-hour visits took place in a special modular "private homelike setting" on the prison grounds, the newspaper quoted prison officials as saying.

This week's state Parole Board meeting is to be Chapman's seventh try at freedom.

The three-member board said after his last hearing in 2010 it denied his parole due to the "disregard you displayed for the norms of our society and the sanctity of human life."

Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has consistently pleaded with the board not to release Chapman, saying she feared for her own life and those of her two sons, as well as for his.

"There are so many people out there who dislike him," Ono told the News in 2008. "It's safer for him to stay in jail."

Chapman is serving a sentence of 20 years to life after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Lennon's death. He has received psychological treatment throughout his imprisonment.

Cutler told the Times when Chapman was moved to protective custody at Wende the inmate had "a very good disciplinary history," incurring no infractions since one in 1994 for disobeying a direct order.


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