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.
“It’s very, very difficult for me to think about Chapman,” she said. “Especially because he doesn’t seem to think that was a bad thing to do… One thing I think is that he did it once, he could do it again, to somebody else. It could be me, it could be [son] Sean, it could be anybody, so there is that concern.”
Chapman was last denied parole in 2014.
A transcript of the recent hearing was not released. But during a 2012 parole hearing, the killer recalled that he had approached Lennon earlier on the day of the murder and that Lennon had autographed an album cover for Chapman. “I did try to tell myself to leave,” he said, according to a record of that 2012 hearing. “I’ve got the album, take it home, show my wife, everything will be fine. But I was so compelled to commit that murder that nothing would have dragged me away from that building.”
Chapman previously has stated that he considered shooting Johnny Carson or Elizabeth Taylor, but that Lennon’s address across the street from Central Park was more accessible.
He is up for parole again in August 2018.