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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Lennon killer loses parole bid
John Lennon
Lennon had autographed his killer's record album
The man who shot dead former Beatle John Lennon has had his second bid for early release from jail rejected.

US officials at the New York State parole board turned down Mark David Chapman's request for release on what would have been Lennon's 62nd birthday.

It followed a closed hearing held on Tuesday, which stated he will be allowed to appeal again in two years.

Chapman, 47, was jailed for life after he admitted killing the superstar outside his New York apartment building in 1980.

It is the second time in two years that Chapman has sought parole from Attica state prison.

Mark Chapman
Chapman has said he is no longer dangerous
At a 2000 hearing, he argued he was no longer a danger to society and had overcome the psychological problems which led him to shoot the ex-Beatle.

Chapman had said that a voice in his head told him to shoot the star.

Shot dead

Lennon was shot four times as he emerged from a limousine outside his New York City apartment on 8 December 1980.

He and his wife Yoko Ono were returning from a late-night recording session during which time they had been working on Walking on Thin Ice.
Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono was with Lennon when he was shot

Only hours before the shooting, Chapman - who had come to New York from Hawaii - was photographed with the singer outside the same building as Lennon signed a copy of his album Double Fantasy for him.

The killer said Lennon had been just "a picture on an album cover" to him before the shooting.

'Deserved death'

Chapman has said that he should have received the death penalty for his crime.

Lennon's widow told the 2000 parole hearing that she would not feel safe if Chapman were released.

Lennon's songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney propelled the Liverpool-based pop group to international stardom and unparalleled commercial success.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Emma Simpson
"Chapman will be entitled to seek parole again in two years time"
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