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Mark David Chapman
- Mark David Chapman
- December 8, 1980
- Life in prison
The arrest of Mark David Chapman:
The only reason anyone ever heard of this guy is because he shot and killed one of the biggest rock 'n roll stars in history. Mark David Chapman is the man who pleaded guilty to murdering John Lennon outside the Dakota apartments in New York City on a cold December night in 1980.
Chapman was born in Fort Worth Texas, His father was a staff sergeant in the Air Force and his mother was a nurse.
Chapman says his dad was physically abusive towards his mother and unloving towards him. He says he began to fantasize about having king-like power over group of imaginary little people who lived in the walls of his bedroom.
Chapman had been a big fan of Lennon but then turned on him. That's because Mark became a born-again Christian and was angered by Lennon's comments that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
Chapman even sung the song "Imagine" before members of a prayer group, referring to Lennon as being dead.
So he stalked Lennon outside the Dakota Apartments and even got his autograph on the day of the killing.
He fired at him five times using a .38 caliber revolver hitting Lennon four times in the back, killing him.
Chapman's lawyer put together an insanity defense based on expert testimony that he was delusional and possibly psychotic at the time of the killing. However, Chapman told his legal team he wanted to plead guilty because he decided it was God's will to do it.
A judge allow the plea change without further psychiatric assessment after Chapman denied hearing voices and sentenced him to 20 years to life in prison, with a guarantee that mental health treatment would be provided.
Chapman's been denied parole seven times, due in part to the efforts of Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono.
Years later, Chapman told ABC's Barbara Walters about his crime.
Chatman is imprisoned at Attica in upstate New York and is allowed one conjugal visit the year with his wife since accepting solitary confinement.