Chris Ferrell Released From Jail, New Details In Wayne Mills Murder

December 16, 2013 - By Trigger  //  News  //  33 Comments

wayne-mills-mug-shotChris Ferrell, the owner of the Pit & Barrel Bar in Nashville, and the man accused of 2nd degree murder in the shooting death of Outlaw country musician Wayne Mills, was in court for the first time today (12-16) in a hearing to determine if his $300,000 bond was fair, and if Ferrell was a flight risk. Ferrell attorney David Raybin argued the bond should be set near $25,000, and that Ferrell could have “run for tall weeds” after the shooting, and didn’t. Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sobrero referenced Ferrell’s history of prior arrests, family ties to different states, charges of domestic assault and interfering with an emergency call that were dismissed this year, and that Ferrell has an upcoming hearing on a vandalism charge. The judge eventually reduced the bond to $150,000, and later Chris Ferrell was released with tight restrictions on his movements, and a court order to stay in close contact with his bail bondsman. Ferrell was also ordered to give up his extensive collection of guns. He was released at 6:54 PM.

Further details came out about the case in the hearing, including that Chris Ferrell not only told officers that the altercation between Wayne Mills started with an argument over smoking in a non-smoking section, but that Wayne came to the Pit & Barrel to “rob and kill” Ferrell. Two guns were found at the scene when police arrived: An empty revolver and a semi-automatic handgun. A private investigator hired by Chris Ferrell, former city homicide detective Larry Flair, also found an additional bullet lodged in a wall of the Pit & Barrell, beyond the shots that struck Mills, including the fatal shot to the back of the head according to numerous reports. The indictment of Chris Ferrell came down before the additional bullet was found, and information on whether the bullet was from the same gun used to shoot Wayne Mills, and whether Chris Ferrell is asserting that Wayne Mills was armed has yet to be made available.

Widow of Wayne Mills Speaks Out / Wayne Saves 5 Lives

More details of the crime scene also emerged. When police arrived at the crime scene, they found a trail of blood from the parking lot to just inside the front door where Mills was laying, breathing but unconscious. There was broken glass surrounding the crime scene, and the two guns were sitting on tables. Chris Ferrell was cooperative with police. What did not come out in the hearing is why it took nearly 10 hours for police to properly identify Wayne Mills, instead believing he was songwriter Clayton Mills.

It also came out today that country artist Shooter Jennings was there on the night Wayne Mills was killed. Shooter Jennings and his manager Jon Hensley had been hanging out with both Chris Ferrell and Wayne Mills earlier in the night and in the days prior to the shooting, along with country performer Jamey Johnson. Shooter Jennings had performed at a show with Wayne Mills two nights before the shooting, and Jennings also performed at the George Jones tribute at the Bridgestone Arena that both Wayne Mills and Chris Ferrell attended together the night before the shooting. Jennings and his manager claim they left right before the shooting occurred.

When Ferrell arrived in court, he was wearing a yellow jumpsuit, meaning he has been placed in protective custody in jail. Ferrell stated that he’s received as many as a dozen death threats from text messages, social media, and voicemail, and that he resorted to wearing a bulletproof vest before turning himself into authorities after the Grand Jury indictment on December 6th.

 Read Report from the Court from The Tennessean

33 Comments to “Chris Ferrell Released From Jail, New Details In Wayne Mills Murder”

  • Considering Ferrell is receiving death threats, he did not flee when he had the chance, and is claiming self defense, should he should be to keep his guns? Is that SOP to confiscate weapons in a case like this in Tennessee and around the country, does anyone know?


    • *should he be able to keep


    • I’ll say this: Any time anyone else threatens anyone’s life behind the guise of anonymity, it is an act of cowardice. People making death threats to Chris Ferrell or anyone else are doing a disservice to themselves, to the legacy of Wayne Mills, and are misrepresenting Wayne Mills fans to the national eye that has zoomed in on this case. They aren’t “defending” anyone, nor are they helping to serve “justice.” They are simply venting anger, and stooping down to a level of character that doesn’t represent anyone well. The man is charged with 2nd degree murder. This is a process, and it is moving forward. I would think we all would want a trial where hopefully some truth could emerge about what happened that night so that some closure could be had, especially for Wayne’s family. Ask Jack Ruby how well a retaliation killing worked out. It gave us 1,000 years of conspiracy theories instead of resolution.

      There’s a lot of anger out there, and that is completely understandable. But if the death of Wayne Mills taught us anything, it’s that trying to solve conflict with violence solves nothing.


    • The guns he had at the bar (regardless of whether he used both in the shooting) are going to be evidence, so he won’t get them until and unless he’s acquitted. The court could impose handgun restrictions as a condition of his bail, which I would assume they did in this case.


      • The article said he “had to give up his extensive collection”, which sounds like the ones he had at home too. I understand them taking the ones used that night for evidence, but taking the rest of his firearms seems weird. Any lawyers reading tonight out there?


        • It is common for a judge to make that a condition of bail in cases of domestic violence, and any crime that involves a gun.


        • …maybe they confiscated all his guns in consideration of the new bullet found…?


          • The article didn’t say if both guns were his. From his point of view, if he’s claiming self defense and saying there’s another bullet his PI found in the wall the cops didn’t find initially, that would put the second gun in Mills’s hand.
            I just thought that’s a weird situation to be in. Guess that innocent until proven guilty thing goes out the window in a case like this, but his past record probably didn’t do him any favors in the judge’s decision.


        • To answer your legal questions.

          1) Under the Federal Rules of Evidence (not sure what TN’s rules are, but they are probably similar) The prosecution cannot bring up any past history of violence except to rebut him if he claims either Wayne Mills was a violent person or he is a generally peaceful person.
          2) Re: taking his guns, innocent until proven guilty. Yes he is innocent until proven guilty, but that doesn’t mean that the courts cannot restrict his freedom that would otherwise restrict his constitutional rights as a condition of bail. A court usually can’t prevent someone from leaving the country, but I don’t think anyone would suggest that’s an unreasonable bail requirement. If he is that worried about his safety he can stay in jail under protective custody.


        • Red Desert Strangler, are you serious!!!!? This guy just shot a man in the back of his head from his “extensive gun collection,” and you think he should be allowed to keep the rest of his gun collection. Please indulge me! Elaborate on your legal and moral justification! Why do you believe it would be appropriate to allow this nincompoop to keep his gun collection?

          Yes, I know I do not have all of the facts. But based on the evidence so far, he is a cold blooded killer!!!! He has been indicted! And you still believe he should be allowed to hold on to the guns that was not part of the murder scene? REALLY?!!!! What, it was unfair of the law to take the rest of his guns? On what grounds should this guy be trusted to hold on to the rest of his guns!!? Tell me, have you really thought this through, or you just writing for the sake of writing? Is this truly your mental disposition? The sad reality is, minds like yours will be making up the juror.


          • On what grounds should he be allowed to keep his guns?

            Hmmmm. I don’t know.. The right to self defense!

            You people want to threaten his life AND demand the government remove his guns?? What twisted freakin logic are YOU applying?

            An isolated incident that still hasn’t been heard in a COURT OF LAW yet, merely in the public square and mostly by a bunch of ignorant noobs who are apparently clueless as to what RIGHTS are!

            THIS is supposed to make me think that he is going to go on some rampage shooting people? Wow.. Priceless.. just priceless.


          • I’m with Sonas on this. To start with, there is nothing uncommon about removing weapons from someone as a condition of their bail in the case of violent crime.
            Bail is determined by the sole judge who can base it on whatever he sees fit, including past offenses and arrests He can also deny it altogether.
            And really …”isolated incident”?! Multiple arrests including a domestic assault charge with current open cases at the time that he killed someone. Tell me how many people you know that are arrested that many times that are upstanding citizens that just have bad luck. Even considering that the first couple were just driving on suspended license the guy proved he didn’t give a damn about the law. Only thing he’s proved for years is that he knows how to get away with stuff. Funny thing about rights…abuse them and you’ll lose them. Truth is that most people that have been arrested three times usually should have been arrested many more. People who live right don’t spend much time in cop cars. JUST. A. THOUGHT.


        • Red desert stranger, I am assuming you are the same as Just a thought. I notice you left no room for reply, but you missed one. The sad thing is, I would love to ignore your comment, to simple chuck you up to the not- the-brightest-one-on this-blog category. But, I really cannot, can I? Truth is, you are no doubt an American citizen and a person like you can be easily called to jury duty.

          True, we do not know all the facts, but we do know a good man is gone and was killed by someone with an extensive gun collection, someone who has a history of being in trouble with the law, someone who have threatened the lives of others. Now, these are the facts in which we are aware of. This blog is permanent. What if this scumbag turns out to be just what he has projected thus far? Do you really want it documented that you were sympathetic.towards him? Wait, I don’t believe you would, would you? Not unless you’re that disgusting, scumbag murderer himself, perpetuating himself as a person.


          • First of all, I’m too dumb to read all of them big words you wrote, so I wasn’t able to read your posts. Second, I don’t know either one of these fellas from Adam’s housecat, so I’m not a supporter of Mills or Ferrell. Third, my last telephone was broken, so I was without for a few days; sorry for the delayed response.
            I am however a gun owner who did not understand the law and how it applied to this case. Thought I might be able to ask without causing any trouble. Excuse me for my ignorance. I can imagine you won’t be interested in the upcoming album, Sonas?


        • Well at least you have a sense of humor which kind of make me feel like an A&*.
          Yes you have a few blogs in which you simply asked the question which did not set me off. What set me off was this statement:

          “I understand them taking the ones used that night for evidence, but taking the rest of his firearms seems weird.”

          If this guy was living next door to you and your family would you be in support of him holding on to his guns. I am against non police officers/soldiers owning guns. If you are living in an area where you depend on your gun to feed your family, fine. But owning guns for the sole purpose of taking the life of a human, to me is disgusting. I do realize and very much believe that most people who own guns sincerely hope they never have to use it, but I also believe there is a handful of people who owns guns for the sole purpose of hoping to use it someday. I believe the scumbag that took Wayne’s life is one of those individuals. Enough people have lost their lives from someone who should never be trusted with a gun for us to reconsider our gun laws.


  • According to court records it appears as though the domestic assault charge has been re-opened. Look into it?


  • As someone that has been around Chris, he has flashed or pointed his guns at many of us around here.


  • Prior domestic assault charges are not normally allowed as evidence. How do I know? Because I have a relative that was murdered at the hands of her husband.
    We are awaiting his trial. He had many ‘domestic assault charges’ against him in other states that were recently discovered. Those will not be allowed in his trial. That evidence ‘would taint the jury’. His trial has been moved to another venue because he can’t receive a fair trial. The newspaper comments are something the Defense is using to support their case. This case is very similar to what we’re dealing with.


  • Well, sure, now he got a chance to come up with a defense. Why would Wayne Mills, a relatively successful guy want to kill this fool? Pleeeeeese! He’s nothing but a sorry Hick with an extensive gun collection that finally got the opportunity to live out his fantasy, that is taking a life. It wouldn’t shock me if he gets away with it. 12 death treats, that’s all?


  • What you say is true. But the reality is, based on recent murder cases, there is a strong possibility that this guy can get away with this. Let the law do their job, you said? What choice do we have? None of us is gonna kill the fool! Unlike him, we’re not murderers! But come on, did you really expect people to handle this well?


    • No, I expect friends and fans of Wayne Mills to be extremely angry over this, and they have every right to be. But let’s not assume what is going to happen. I heard for two weeks that Chris would never be arrested because he was a drug informant. Then he’s charged with Murder 2. The justice system is dysfunctional and in many cases corrupt, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get it right most of the time, and that it won’t in this case. Maybe the justice system will fumble this case, I have no idea. I will certainly be here watching, and if something seems wrong, I will be the first to speak up about it. And now that we can add a bullet that wasn’t found by the police to an increasing list of oversights by the investigation, there’s even more evidence that law enforcement wasn’t doing the best job they could have. But that doesn’t mean that threatening someone’s life, veiled by anonymity, especially when you have no intent to take it, isn’t a Busch League move, and doesn’t cast Wayne Mills fans in a potential negative light. I understand. People want their bowl of blood. But you will represent the interests of Wayne Mills by approaching the situation with a clear head. That’s my opinion.


  • […] 45 minutes after he, Mills and others had posed for a picture alongside Shooter Jennings. Saving Country Music reports that Jennings and his manager had left the bar by the time the shooting occurred, and that […]


  • As a friend of Wayne Mills, I would love to see justice prevail… whatever the case may be.

    I love(d) Wayne more than any other man outside my family. He was a mentor and a brother in so many ways. That doesn’t mean I think he was perfect. He was far from it at times.

    That being said, I can’t imagine Wayne with a weapon of any kind. I’ve never seen him with a gun, other than his deer rifle. I can’t say whether he owned one or not, but I never saw a hand gun.

    The story Ferrell gives is awkwardly amusing. He says Wayne came to the bar with the intention to rob and kill him. Why would there be photos of everyone at the bar that night? Why would Wayne want to rob a man who just had to have Jon Taffer come into his place and renovate it just to drum up business? Why would Wayne Mills need to premeditate a robbery when he was doing just fine booking bands (and playing a million shows himself)? None of that makes sense.

    And I’m sorry, but I will wait to confirm the bullet “found” by Ferrell’s PI is from one of the two weapons fired that night.


  • That’s just perfect!!!!He’s a police informant, no wonder he thinks he can get away with murder!!! He thinks he’s invincible. No doubt the police only arrested him because of the public outrage. This is some Damn crap!!!!! They are the ones that is probably conjuring up evidence for his Johnny-come-lately asinine defense.


    • Show me any proof that Chris Ferrell is or was a police informant and I will post the story right now.


      • OK, I apologize. I believe I misunderstood you. Here is what you said: “Chris would never be arrested because he was a drug informant.”


        • Oh, okay, sorry for the confusion. Sometimes I wish there was a sarcasm font.


    • I can offer no “proof” that he was an informant but can tell you that every single thing that came out in that bond hearing as “New information “was told to me two weeks ago by more than one person that also said he was an informant. Nashville’s got no secrets. At least not for long. He wasn’t wearing yellow in prison cause he’s scared of Wayne’s friends. Keep digging man. Start with whose paying for one of Nashville’s most expensive attorneys. Dude borrowed money from his parents to open a bar. Yeah…and who owns that building?


      • “every single thing that came out in that bond hearing as “New information “was told to me two weeks ago by more than one person.”

        Exactly. See, it came out eventually. Just as all the information about this case will likely come out over time. I had a lot of this information too, but there was no point in posting it aside from maybe some shallow victory of being first. It could have also harmed the court proceedings, or the investigation. I also have much more information about this case that has not come out yet in the public forum. I could post it too, and most of it would probably be eventually verified as true, but some of it may not be. It would create a lot of traffic and interest. But it would not necessarily helpful to anything in the long term, and very well could be hurtful if some of the information is found out to be false, eroding my position as an outlet that is only going to post verified, accurate, and factual information about this case.

        I’m not saying that Chris Ferrell isn’t a police informant. He very well may be. If his relationship with the police leads to preferential treatment in this case and there’s verifiable information about this, then there will be no other news outlet screaming about this as vehemently as Saving Country Music. But I can’t post a story that says Thomas in the comments section said that he heard it from somebody else, and expect anyone else to believe it other than you. That is called hearsay.

        Trust me, I am digging very deep, and have made many personal sacrifices to cover this story, and will continue to do so. And I’m not the only one, journalist or otherwise. But I’m getting the sense from some Wayne Mills fans and friends that they expect Chris to walk free and not get a fair trial, or even want it to happen so their anger can be even more justified, or think that the media or other entities are being complicit because we won’t do certain things, or post certain information that has yet to enter the public record. It’s good that people are asking questions, and doing so publicly, about the process of this case, and that they’re being critical of the way certain things have been handled. But Chris Mills has been charged with murder in the 2nd degree. There is going to be a trail, unless a plea deal happens first. The way his bond and release was handled in no way shows preferential treatment that I can tell for an individual who is not considered a flight risk.

        Let this process play out is all I’m saying. There are many people committed to making sure how this case is handled fairly, and are willing to speak out when the time is right if it is necessary.


      • .. and Nashville has many rumors told over a few glasses of whiskey too.. So before you start jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon just realize that none of what people speculate about that theory
        even makes sense on it’s face.

        How is he paying for stuff? Oh I don’t know, he has to liquidate his bar.. Which is it you guys??? Is he such an a***hole nobody can stand him or is he such an angel that the people who run this town are gonna protect him..

        No conspiracy Thomas, just typical cop work.. and using the law as intended.. This isn’t France and we are not on the middle of a revolution. If you don’t ‘get’ that.. look it up.


  • As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of a major Southern city and one of Wayne’s best friends, I can tell you that he NEVER carried a gun, knife, or any other kind of weapon. I can also tell you that the weapon Ferell “claimed” Wayne had was completely wiped down and was free of fingerprints, not even Mills’ prints were on the gun. This is the major reason Ferrell was arrested. I received this straight from the CSI. I can also tell you that Chris Ferrell has had other complaints come forward since this murder of people he has harassed, threatened, or physically attacked at his bar. I will do everything in my power to make sure Ferrell spends his life behind bars. Especially for trying to set up someone who didn’t even own a gun. Oh yeah, shooting someone in the BACK of the head is NOT self defense 99% of the time. FYI. This is not over.


  • “But I’m getting the sense from some Wayne Mills fans and friends that they expect Chris to walk free and not get a fair trial, or even want it to happen so their anger can be even more justified…”

    You’re quite free with your opinions Trigger, and for the most part it is well appreciated. I do not expect this idiot to get away with murder, I simply realize that gone are the days when that will not be a real possibility. and no, I DO NOT WANT IT TO HAPPEN!!!!


  • I understand the deeply felt principles and heartache that you’re suffering.

    No one wants to see injustice. I was knocked off of my chair when someone else walked free and folks were delighted….completely different case. I thought he was a vigilante.

    I’m measuring my words because public sentiment can change the venue and prolong the agony.


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