John Lennon's killer said he didn't deserve parole

Wednesday, October 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The man who killed John Lennon told the board that denied him parole last week that he deserves to be in prison for his ``despicable'' crime, according to a transcript released Wednesday.

Mark David Chapman also said he nearly skipped the hearing after finally realizing how much pain he caused Yoko Ono, Lennon's widow.

``I don't even deserve to be here,'' _ meaning alive _ while Lennon is dead, Chapman told the three-member panel on Oct. 3.

``What I did was despicable,'' he said. ``I don't feel it's up to me to ask to be let out.''

Chapman, who is serving 20 years to life for murder at Attica state prison, will be eligible for parole again in 2002.

Chapman said he read comments by Ono over the summer that said she began shaking uncontrollably after Chapman shot Lennon to death in 1980.

``I think for the first time I really realized, you know, the pain that I caused,'' Chapman said. ``I mean, here's a person that can't control their body, and that really hit home. ... I felt her pain then, and I can honestly say I didn't even want to feel it up until then. It's a horrible thing to, you know, realize what you've done.''

Chapman's parole hearing was closed to the press and public. The transcript of the hearing was released Wednesday under a Freedom of Information request from The Associated Press and other news outlets.

Chapman said Lennon was not the only celebrity he thought of killing. He cited a ``substitute list'' of two or three other names that were blacked out by state officials in the transcript.

He said the killing was motivated by ``vanity,'' ``jealousy,'' ``anger,'' ``resentment'' and ``stupidity.''

Chapman also said he heard a ``small voice'' urging him to shoot the ex-Beatle.

``I felt like nothing, and I felt if I shot him, I would become something, which is not true at all,'' he said. ``I do wish I was a big nobody again.''