NEW YORK -- Fans of John Lennon were not satisfied with a guilty plea entered by Mark David Chapman, who admitting killing the ex-Beatle last December.
'Death is too good for him,' said Linda Jones.
'They should send him into outer space without oxygen,' said David Weissner.
'Maybe they should let him walk free and let his fans get hold of him,' added Ms. Jones, even while admitting her desire for revenge is 'so unlike what Lennon taught.'
She and Weissner were among three dozen Lennon fans who went to a Manhattan courtroom Monday to see the beginning of jury selection in Chapman's trial.
Instead, they saw the 26-year-old Honolulu resident plead guilty to killing Lennon, whose preachings on peace and love made him the idol of millions.
Chapman, protected by a bulletproof vest and six court officers who surrounded him, was silent as state Supreme Court Justice Dennis Edwards accepted his plea.
The former mental patient, who so revered Lennon, who was 40, that he imitated the guitarist's music in his own band, originally pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.
But on June 8, Chapman told his attorney, Jonathan Marks, that God visited him twice in his solitary cell on Rikers Island and suggested he take responsibility for his actions.
The attorney said Chapman -- who lost 25 pounds because he feared prisoners poisoned his food -- 'made his own decision, against my advice ... because of his firm belief he's doing God's will.'
He added that Chapman, who is taking mild sedatives, is 'deeply religious' and feels 'real remorse for Lennon's family.
'I would say he is at peace now,' Marks said.
The attorney said he still intends to seek a hearing on Chapman's mental competency. Two hearings have determined Chapman is mentally fit.
In a 45-minute private session before the proceeding in open court, Chapman was asked by Assistant District Attorney Allen Sullivan, who was to have prosecuted the case, whether the decision to enter a guilty plea was his own.
'It is my decision and God's decision,' Chapman replied, according to a transcript of the session printed today in The New York Times.
Chapman also said in the transcript he had prayed before making the decision and that he had not heard any 'voices.'
He also recounted to Edwards the circumstances of the the Dec. 8 killing.
Officials said Chapman assumed a military crouch as Lennon returned with his wife Yoko Ono to their home in the Dakota apartment building overlooking Central Park.
Calling out 'Mr. Lennon,' Chapman fired four shots.
He then put down his gun, took out a copy of J.D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye' and waited for police to arrest him.
Lennon, who was 40, died within the hour.
Edwards set sentencing for Aug. 24.
Outside the courtroom, the judge said he would sentence Chapman to no more than 20 years to life in jail.
But Edwards added that if he felt the maximum sentence of 25 years to life was necessary, he would allow Chapman to withdraw his guilty plea.