John Lennon’s killer will stay behind bars for at least two more years after his request for parole was denied for the ninth time, PEOPLE confirms.
Mark David Chapman, 61, who fired the gunshots that killed Lennon in New York City on Dec. 8, 1980, was denied parole on Aug. 24 by a three-member state parole board panel.
Chapman currently is serving 20 years to life in the maximum-security Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, after pleading guilty in 1981 to second-degree murder.
In its decision addressed to Chapman, the parole panel wrote, “The Board of Parole commends your acceptance of responsibility and vivid characterization of your crime as premeditated, selfish and evil,” according to a statement shared with PEOPLE.
But despite noting Chapman’s “network of support” and his strong “institutional records and rehabilitative efforts,” the panel concluded, “In spite of many favorable factors, we find all to be outweighed by the premeditated and celebrity seeking nature of the crime. From our interview and review of your records, we find that your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate that seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.”
The ex-Beatle was shot in front of his wife, Yoko Ono, by four of five bullets fired by Chapman outside of the Dakota apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West side, where the couple lived.
In a 2015 interview, Ono said she would never relocate from the apartment where she and Lennon shared many otherwise happy memories.
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Jeff Truesdell