John Lennon's killer was offered help upon release

NEW YORK Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:21pm EDT

A mug-shot of Mark David Chapman, who shot and killed John Lennon, is displayed on the 25th anniversary of Lennon's death at the NYPD in New York December 8, 2005.

A mug-shot of Mark David Chapman, who shot and killed John Lennon, is displayed on the 25th anniversary of Lennon's death at the NYPD in New York December 8, 2005.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A minister in western New York offered John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, a job and a place to stay following his possible release from prison, Chapman told the New York parole board earlier this month.

Chapman, 57, is serving a prison sentence of 20 years to life for shooting the former Beatle four times in the back outside Lennon's New York City apartment building on December 8, 1980.

Earlier this month he was denied parole for a seventh time.

If Chapman had been granted parole and released, he said he had been offered help by a New York minister. The two had corresponded and had met face to face for the first time on the eve of Chapman's parole hearing, Chapman said.

"There's a fellow in Medina, New York and he's a minister and he's an older fellow and he has a lot of contacts in the area and he has agreed to refurbish his upstairs apartment for me and offered me two jobs," Chapman said, according to a transcript provided by the parole board.

Efforts to reach the minister at his home and church office were not successful. His son confirmed to Reuters that he had made the offer.

Medina is a rural town about 50 miles northeast of Buffalo near Lake Ontario.

Chapman has come up for parole every two years since 2000 and has been turned down each time.

(Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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