John Lennon's killer was denied parole for a fifth time Tuesday by a board that said he remains a threat to the public.
Mark David Chapman will remain in New York's Attica Correctional Facility for at least two more years for gunning down the former Beatle nearly three decades ago on a Manhattan sidewalk.
Chapman, 53, has been in prison for 27 years since pleading guilty to the murder, which he has said he committed to gain attention. He became eligible for parole in 2000 after serving 20 years of a maximum life sentence.
In a one-page decision issued after Chapman's appearance Tuesday, parole board members said they denied his parole "due to concern for the public safety and welfare."
The parole board said the although Chapman has had a clean disciplinary record since 1994, he told board members during the hearing that he planned and conducted Lennon's killing "with an essentially clear mind."
Considering that, the board said, his release "would not be in the best interest of the community."
A transcript of the 36-minute hearing, conducted by two parole board members, was not immediately available.
Chapman, a former maintenance man from Hawaii, fired five shots outside Lennon's apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980, hitting Lennon four times in front of his wife, Yoko Ono, and others.
Ono, who has previously written the parole board arguing against Chapman's release, did not offer any testimony in his latest hearing.
"She was very pleased at the division of parole's decision," said her lawyer, Peter Shukat. He declined to comment further.
Fifty people sent letters and 1,100 others signed a petition opposing his release, while three wrote in urging that he be set free, said Heather Groll, a state Parole Division spokeswoman.
Chapman's next appearance before the board is scheduled for August 2010.