Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955) is an American prison inmate who was convicted for murdering English musician John Lennon on December 8, 1980. Chapman shot Lennon outside The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Chapman fired at Lennon five times, hitting him four times in his back. Chapman later remained at the scene reading J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye until the police arrived and arrested him. Chapman repeatedly claimed that the novel was his statement.

Chapman’s legal team put forward an insanity defense based on expert testimony that he was in a delusional and possibly psychotic state at the time, but nearing the trial, Chapman instructed his lawyer to plead guilty based on what he had decided was the will of God. Judge Edwards allowed the plea change without further psychiatric assessment, and sentenced Chapman to a prison term of 20 years to life with a stipulation that mental health treatment be provided. Chapman was later imprisoned in 1981 and has been denied parole seven times amidst campaigns against his release. As of 2013, Chapman has been imprisoned for 32 years. 

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