The Autopsy Report of Wayne Mills Released

January 16, 2014 - By Trigger  //  News  //  69 Comments

wayne-mills-3On November 23rd, 2013, country artist Wayne Mills was shot and killed in Nashville at the Pit & Barrel Bar by the bar’s owner, Chris Ferrell. Mr. Ferrell claimed self-defense, and is currently facing 2nd Degree Murder charges brought down by a Grand Jury on December 6th, 2013. Ferrel was released on bail on December 16th, 2014.

Chris Ferrell was in court Thursday (1-16) for a “discussion date” and to take care of some minor procedural defense motions. The company holding Chris Ferrell’s bond had agreed to take less than the usual 10% to secure his release, but needed to get court approval, and this was granted. Ferrell also filed a change of address under the conditions of his bond. His next appearance in court will be February 6th.

The Autopsy Report

The autopsy report was also made available for the first time through the Medical Examiners Office. According to the Medical Examiner, Wayne Mills was killed by a gunshot wound to the back of the head, and the death was ruled a homicide. There was also no evidence that the gunshot wound was caused by a discharge at close range because of the lack of soot or gunpowder surrounding the wound, meaning the shot came from distance.

Though some reports had Wayne Mills being shot multiple times, Wayne only suffered one gunshot wound. However, multiple other injuries were found on his body. Wayne’s 4th and 5th ribs were broken, and he had abrasions on his forehead, temple, scalp (unassociated with the gunshot), and contusions on his chest, arms, forearms, left thigh, and right knee.

The summary of the autopsy states,

Autopsy findings are significant for an entrance gunshot wound on the posterior parietal scalp with fragment exit and injury to scalp, skull, and brain. A bullet is recovered in association with this gunshot wound. Associated injuries include scalp, subdural, and subarachnoid hemorrhage, fractures to the right frontal and parietal bones, cortical and white matter contusions of the brain, and hemorrhage throughout the wound path. Other injuries include abrasions of the left side of the forehead, left temple, posterior occipital scalp, and abdomen, left-sided rib fractures, and contusions of the lateral chest, arms, forearms, left thigh, and right knee. Evidence of therapy and tissue procurement is noted.

The cause of death is a gunshot wound of the head, and the manner of death is homicide.

The ’tissue procurement” noted in the autopsy summary and throughout the autopsy report is for the organs that were removed from Wayne as an organ donor.


The autopsy report also included a postmortem toxicology workup testing for a wide spectrum of substances in Wayne’s body. The report concluded that Wayne’s blood alcohol level was 0.221. Mills also tested positive for amphetamine, at 23 ng/ml. No other substances came back positive. Saving Country Music has tried to confirm or deny if a similar toxicology report was ordered on Chris Ferrell after the incident, but has been unable to obtain that information.

Shooter Jennings Cooperating with Investigators

Questions have arose about the proximity of musician Shooter Jennings and his manager Jon Hensley on the night of the shooting, especially after his name was brought up in court during Chris Ferrell’s bond hearing, as reported by The Tennessean. Writer Neil Hamilton whose book Outlaws Still At Large includes an introduction by Shooter, at one point posted a blog that included many questions about Shooter’s involvement the night of the shooting. After feeling public pressure, Hamilton removed the blog post. Jennings says he left 5 minutes before the shooting happened, and Shooter was not named in the original indictment as a direct witness to the killing. Shooter subsequently posted a comment on a previous Saving Country Music story on the Wayne Mills case, saying,

I assure everyone that I have spoken in detail to the investigators about the events of the night Wayne died. But I also personally believe that speaking publicly about it, at this point, candidly and in detail could hurt the process underway. From what I can tell from the detectives I’ve spoken to, they’re working hard to piece together what happened. I, nor my friends, were there when the actual incident occurred and cannot truly have any answers as to what happened in the moments leading up to it. Just please respect the process — and I’m doing everything personally to understand why such a horrible thing would happen and want to know myself more than anyone. Wayne’s family were terrible victims here and his fans feel that pain because of their love of his music and their loss of his talent. Until this case building is over, I just don’t feel it wise to make a public record. Hope you all can understand…

Wayne Mills Benefit in Nashville

On March 2nd, The Outlaw Music Association will be holding a Wayne Mills Benefit at The Limelight. Announced performers so far include Dallas Moore, Rowdy Johnson Band, Whitey Morgan,  Kara Clark, Jesse Keith Whitley, Whey Jennings, Chris Gantry, Tom Ghent, James Austin, Billie Gant, JB Beverley, Buck Thrailkill, Joshua Morningstar, Pete Berwick, Pure Grain, Mike Owens, Brigitte London, Rory Kelley and the Triple Threat, and Larry Fleet, with more to be added.

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For more information on the Wayne Mills case, please read The Death of Wayne Mills 6 Weeks After (Update & Analysis). Saving Country Music will continue to try and keep people updated on the progress of the case.

69 Comments to “The Autopsy Report of Wayne Mills Released”

  • The distance the bullet traveled before hitting Wayne Mills serves as an important distinction between this case and the Trayvon Martin case. For close-range shots, as in the Trayvon case, the prosecution faces a major hurdle in disproving the self-defense claim. This finding from the Wayne Mills autopsy report makes the case for second-degree murder significantly stronger.

    • OK, I’ve been a cop for 25 years and finding that there was no contact evidence (for gunshot residue) tells me that self defense was NOT the case. Anyone familiar with the .44 magnum knows that it produces a VERY LARGE bubble of hot gasses and particles of unburned powder at the muzzle. This gas and debris can travel and expand several feet before it cools and dissipates. Say anywhere in the vicinity of 4-5 feet of the muzzle would produce burning and pitting of the skin (this would be dependant on the barrel length, atmospheric conditions e.g. temperature, wind speed, rain, snow, fog, etc…). With evidence showing the lack thereof, it says to me that there was no threat that could not be avoided, that coupled with the fact that Wayne had his BACK to the shooter indicates in my mind at least, 1st degree murder in that it was both reckless and intentional.
      Ferrell should be re-arrested and charged with 1st degree murder. This would revoke his bond and he would have to bond out (if bond were granted) at whatever rate is determined by the courts. Bond COULD be denied and he COULD be remanded to the custody of the county pending trial. What actually happens is up to the prosecuting attorney and the court system, but any idiot can tell this IS NOT a case of self defense.

      Wayne was a big man and the other bodily damage uncovered in the course of the autopsy suggests that he had been beaten badly…my question is “by whom”? I’m not saying that one person couldn’t have inflicted the amount of damage described, but my money says Wayne would have given as good as he got if not better. Who beat Wayne up, how many were there? Was wayne even standing up when he was shot? Lots of questions unanswered. Personally I want the prosecution to have all it’s I’s dotted and it’s T’s crossed and as many answers as possible before this goes to trial.

      Ferrell deserves the death penalty in my opinion, he probably won’t get it, but I hope, AT LEAST, he gets LIFE/WITHOUT….It AIN’T justice but I hope he NEVER sees the FREE LIGHT OF DAY again.

      • Typical cop. With your powers of trying, sentencing, and executing someone before it even goes to trial, you’re in the wrong line of work. You should be one of those 1-900-psychics. If the evidence was so damning, do you really think they’d release him on a reduced bond?
        I do however, concour with your conclusions, but unlike you, I wil await the outcome by a jury of his peers.

        • I wish the UNITED STATES would adopt an eye for an eye.

      • I know neither of the involved parties, and I agree that the circumstances around the incident sound suspect. But claiming that someone outside of a 4 – 5 foot distance can’t be a threat is a (potentially fatal) mistake. If you’ve been in L.E. for 25 years then I would imagine you’ve heard of, and possibly seen a demonstration of, the “21 foot” rule.

      • If I were the defense attorney (so before people start screaming at me, I’m saying this is what will happen if this goes to trial, not what I think happened, but you need to consider this when complaining about him not being charged with 1st degree murder), I could easily create a scenario where Mills, drunk and on speed attacked Ferrell. Ferrell fought back and managed to cause some damage, but Mills was so hopped up on meth, that nothing would subdue him. In this scenario, Mill’s non-gunshot injuries actually help Ferrell—in contrast to the many comments I see stating “Ferrell was just some scrawny dude who couldn’t take a beating.”
        During the fight, Mills went back to grab a broken bear bottle/pool cue etc., which he would use to inflict serious bodily harm, when Ferrell let off the shot. Now 23 ng/ml is below the normal toxicity level for amphetamine, meaning Mills probably didn’t take any that night, but I’m sure it will still be admitted, but Mills is a tough looking guy, and the defense saying “try fighting against this guy hopped up on speed”

        Again, I’m not saying this is what happened. In fact, If I had to bet, I’d guess it didn’t happen like this. But the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this, or whatever Ferrell’s attorneys come up with, did not happen.

        Bottom line, this is far from an open and shut case of 1st degree, much less 2nd degree murder.

        • How can you say it’s “Meth”? There are lots of uppers and they would not make someone more of a danger. In many cases such use of uppers, especially prolonged use and lack of sleep would make a person substantially less of a danger even weak, mentally distracted with less coordination. IMO

  • What pathetic low life beats someone and shoots them in the back of the head?!?!

    • Answer: A pathetic low life beast. Although, I think we’re being kind. Let’s just pray for Justice for Wayne and his friends and family.

    • We’ll obviously I was not there to see it, but I think mills probably whooped up on Ferrell and was walking out when shot in the head. Once again, who knows…but it sounds like they fought, both got a few licks but wayne got more. Wayne was a very large man. Probably busted Ferrell up pretty good which led Ferrell to shoot him. Very sad story no matter how it went down. All we can hope for is that Wayne’s family can find closure and peace, and that if rightfully convicted, Ferrell is behind bars in a rough Memphis prison for the rest of his life.

      So sad, God Bless folks.

      • I disagree. If Ferrell would have had the slightest bruise or abrasion he would have been pointing it out from the beginning to support his defense. I feel the main weapon Wayne used was his words, to express displeasure at any one of many things people found horrid about Chris. Wayne would always stick up for anyone he felt was wronged, (Chris bullied and wronged many) and he would likely wait for people to leave so as not to embarrass Chris so much. I think Wayne called him out on some evil or hateful thing he did, and was likely hit with a pool Q, but taking it, then tried to leave after having his say and being unable to reason with a bully. Just my opinion, based on nothing but what has been publicized and my knowledge of Wayne’s personality.

  • Hope the guys rots in jail.

  • Chris Ferrell is the low life that cowardly shoots an unarmed man in the back of the head and then try to claim self-defense. I personally hope that regardless of the outcome of the charges that Wayne’s family takes every last dime Ferrell has.

    No one deserves to be gunned down the way Wayne was. It was murder plain and simple!

  • I don’t think ppl locked up for murder should be able to pay less than 10% bail requirement and get freed. That’s crazy.

    • Yeah but you’d have to make that statement flexible based on the kind of evidence involved. In this case it should be ‘no bail’, but there are so many pending murder cases out there where the only evidence is circumstantial (etc).

      For cases like this where they are immediately cut and dry beyond any reasonable doubt, I’m all in favor of public hangings the next day outside the courthouse.

      You know when my mother was very young, my grandfather use to take the family on vacations several times a year (a drive out to the Grand Canyon, or the California Coast – those types of things). He use to leave his house unlocked and leave for a week or two at a time. There was no need for it back then and maybe a neighbor would need to borrow something. Look how bad things have gotten just over a couple of generations where people really aren’t even safe inside their own locked homes anymore. Therefore, immediate public hangings need to make a come-back for cut and dry cases of rape, kidnapping and murder.

  • What a pathetic coward to shoot a man in the back of the head from
    a distance and claim self defense? And what a pathetic legal system
    that would lower the cowards bail so he can get out of jail!!

  • I pray that justice is served, swiftly. Looks like court may already be favoring Ferrell based on the bond consideration. Money talks, huh? Prayers for the Mills family.

    • Facts are facts, you have none so you know nothing.. Speculation is an m effer. Facts would lower a bond.

  • Five minutes seems like an awfully short amount of time for Wayne to incur all those injuries and for things to escalate to the point where he was shot.

  • Anybody who?s been in a fight knows 5 minutes is an eternity. Most fights last no longer than a minute or 2. Common sense shows this was over drugs whether just too high or someone felt they got crewed. Ferrell and Wayne did massive amounts of drugs and I know this 1st hand. I actually feel bad for lance,
    chris?s business partner. Great guy who?s going to lose a business he worked Damn hard.to build

    • Hopefully, next time your friend might reconsider doing business with someone like him.

    • “First Hand” ?? Bold statement… You do it too??? Lance is a great guy, but you KNOW Chris was a loose cannon with and infatuation of being an “Outlaw”

  • Southern Justice too often means “Just Us”. I only hope that the bail reduction doesn’t mean that Ferrell has invested interest in the same.

  • Thanks, Trigger.. for keeping us in the loop. What happened to my friend Wayne is so fucking tragic. As for the sadness and rage I feel, I really didn’t need to see this… but thank you. It confirms what I already knew and has opened the floodgate.

    R.I.P. Wayne.

  • The amphetamine level of 23 ng/ml does not indicate an abuse level in a time frame close to the time of death. Additionally people do test positive for prescribed drugs that they take appropriately. In fact that level is quite miniscule and if correct, likely not any kind of a factor whatsoever.

  • No damage to his hands is mentioned. If Wayne had gotten in a few licks, his hands would show it. Damage on his forearms indicates to me that he was trying to protect himself from blows.

  • […] autopsy has been released by the Medical Examiners Office. According to Saving Country Music, Mills was killed from a gunshot wound that came to the back of his head. It was ruled a homicide […]

  • Well, I find it amusing that people think that being shot in the back of the head at a far away range is definitive for ‘murder’. Ridiculous.. It shows that you cannot even fathom the numerous scenarios that could have caused this. Since this has so far just looked like a witch hunt, propagated by the ignorant masses with a thirst for vigilantism as opposed to true justice, I for one, am not surprised at all.

    I know what happened.. and this still does not prove ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’ that Chris ‘murdered’ Wayne. If you knew what I did, you would feel the same.

    That’s okay. Every single one of you will find out one day what happened.. you will all wonder how come you couldn’t fathom the possibility that it could have been self defense..

    • You “know”what happened? According to everything I’ve read there were no witnesses. Have you told what you “know” to the police? Did you witness the shooting or did CF tell you what you “know”? I’ve known Wayne a long time and everyone who knew Wayne knows he was not a violent person at all. A lot of the comments I’ve seen by people who know CF talk about how he was known to have gun out and pointing it at people and that he could be a real d!@k to people. These are comments from people who knew CF, some claiming to be his friends. You’ll never see anyone who knew Wayne talking about him like that! We know Wayne well enough to know that he would put out a cigarette if asked to. He wouldn’t get into a fight about it. Wayne was not a violent person and everyone who saw or heard about the episode of Bar Rescue knows CF has a volatile temper. But, wait, CF changed his story to Wayne trying to rob him. Absolutely ridiculous!! If anyone did anything in self defense, it was Wayne!

      • Yes I do know what happened. Just because I wasn’t there in no way means I do not know the story. Sorry you don’t believe it. One day you will know too. You will also think.. Damn, I didn’t think of THAT scenario.

        • You’re right. I don’t know CF. I don’t care to either. I know very well the person that Wayne was though. Also, we’ve all heard CD’ s side of the story none of which matches the person we knew Wayne to be. If you didn’t witness it then you don’t know much more than the rest of us. Did it ever occur to you that whoever told you what you “know” might be lying? You don’t really know anything unless you knew Wayne and the kind of man he was or you witnessed it. You

          • I understand that you are probably a friend of CF’ s. It’s natural to want to stick up for your friend. But, I don’t see any reason CF could have had to shoot Wayne. Wayne might have been a tall guy but, he didn’t work out. He wasn’t muscled up. CF’ s arms look like they are three times the size of Wayne’s and one of his friends said he was ex military. I don’t know if CF was trained in hand to hand combat though. Not all military are but, there’s no doubt in my mind that CF would have been more than a match for Wayne in a fist fight. Wayne was unarmed. Couldn’t CF have shot Wayne in the leg if he felt physically threatened? Also, the witnesses said they heard three gunshots. One was found inside the bar, one killed Wayne, and who knows where the other one went. Also, the police said there was a blood trail from the parking lot to the door of the club. So, that tells me that CF started shooting and Wayne ran outside trying to get away. I believe the third shot killed Wayne. This is only my best guess about what happened. I believe CF’ s temper took over and he killed Wayne. Plan and simple. Again, this is only my guess from what I’ve heard and read from reputable sources. And no, I don’t consider CF to be a credible source. He is a liar trying to save his own skin.

          • It has to do with wanting the facts before I make a judgment. I am not sticking up for anyone. When the facts come out he may STILL be found guilty. It is certainly not a cut and dry case by any stretch of the imagination.

            Even when I heard the facts of the story I was like ..’ that is going to be very hard to prove as ‘self defense’ but it leaves reasonable doubt and it did explain many questions I had. I feel that it was a moment he wishes he could take back. I do not think it was cold-blooded, I do not think it was done in malice.

            Do I think he is going to spend time in jail? I don’t know. I still need more facts. But when it was explained to me.. the shot in the back of the head came from something that never ever would have crossed your mind.

            I am not going to jump on the bandwagon. People want innocent until proven guilty for them if they are in court but screw everyone else right? Either you protect everyone’s rights or you look like a freakin hypocrite and you don’t deserve those rights either.. That is where I am coming from and if somebody has a problem with it they should check their mode of thought because there is some cognitive dissonance going on there.

        • Which story? That it was a fight over smoking in a bar where others had been smoking too or that Wayne had come to rob him after hanging out all night or that Wayne was there to kill him after hanging out all night. Desperate boy has told all three already. Only thing Wayne ever got pIssed over was being taken advantage of by guys he thought were friends. More likely, he told Wayne that he would pay him if he brought the after party to his bar and then didn’t. He was using Wayne like lots did.

          Shadiest part remains……if Chris had been tox screened it wouldn’t be hard to confirm so I’m guessing he wasn’t. That is effed up.

          • Considering the smoke in the bar was a media fed story, I’m going with the one that actually made sense.

      • Also it is apparent you do NOT know Chris. Just Wayne. I am not saying anything against Wayne. I didn’t know him. But you seem to forget there are two sides to every story and you haven’t heard EITHER one. Have you? No, you haven’t obviously. Because you don’t KNOW Chris.

        • I Get it Justathought,
          You feel a need to defend what you obviously feel is a friend but don’t assume that anyone who thinks poorly of Chris Michaels just doesn’t KNOW him. Plenty of people,including me, do in fact know him and knew Wayne. Most will tell you that Wayne’s temper stopped at words. On the other hand, they’ve either been threatened by Chris,been abused by Chris, seen him abuse or threaten others,or have at least known someone who was. They’ll also tell you that he’s quite good at manipulating people into believing that he is simply misunderstood. How else does a man who is known to put his hands on women always manage to have one or more around. Keep trying to pin in it on Wayne being drunk and having some Aderrall in his system. Jury won’t by it.

          • I am not pinning anything on anyone. That is everybody else’s job.

            If you think you can tell me that people’s behaviors don’t change when they are intoxicated you are trying to sell crazy to the WRONG person. I have been a bartender for over 20 years. Does that mean he started it.. deserved it? No.. but it changes the playing field just a bit.

            I think it’s funny that people want to grant Wayne the.. ‘he had so much going for him why would he do something bad’.. but can’t apply the SAME logic to Chris. That would be the sign of biased judgment. You guys don’t care about truth you only care about Chris being wrong.. That’s just sad.

    • Whatever! So why don’t you tell us why someone who was already relatively successful, had a woman who loved him, apparently a son who adored him, and was perhaps at the verge of releasing a career changing album, would want to kill this person who appears to be unsuccessful in all his endeavors. Why would Wayne want to jeopardize everything for this loser? And just so you know, no matter what legal bombo jumbo some shiest-er lawyer come up with; or what ever stupid argument some incompetent DA come up with; or whatever stupid brain dead jurors that will be inflicted on this case, so that this monster actually get away with cold blooded murder. In my my heart he will always be a low life murdering coward who shot a true country singer in the back of the head from a pretty far distance. All your words serve to do is to convince me of the rat that I smell in this case, a rat that favors that murdering scumbag.

      • Read the toxicology report Sonas. You tell me why someone would jeopardize his life. 3 times the legal limit AND amphetamine in his system.. I certainly do not know Wayne and would not think him to be a bad person considering how adored he was. BUT, that being said.. He wasn’t in a normal state.. now was he?

        • What a tox screen cannot disclose is an individual’s naturally high tolerance to drugs and alcohol. Not everyone fits into society’s cookie cutter world. It is very possible to be far above legal limits and not be substantially affected. For some people a six pack is like one beer.

  • I hope in fact they charge Ferrell with 1st degree murder if that’s the case cause he deserves it and should be done the same way he done it to wayne.. Wayne was such a kind and gentle person and would not harm anyone and I myself will stand behind wayne and his family until justice is served..

  • A couple of things from some thoughts I’ve seen in the comments:

    Though never say never, I would say the chances of the charges against Chris Ferrell being elevated to 1st Degree Murder are EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY unlikely, aside from some dramatic piece of evidence surfacing, or a star witness coming forward that says Chris Ferrell’s actions were premeditated. 1st Degree Murder is not a delineation for how severe the murder was. Though the specifics are difference in each state, the general difference between 1st degree and 2nd degree is premeditation. In other words, for it to be 1st degree, the prosecution would have to prove that Chris Ferrell had the murder planned out well in advance, had the time and ability to rationalize and justify his actions, and then implemented them, and then in may cases, tried to cover them up and/or flee. Seeing how Chris was the one who called 911 and was standing beside the body when police arrived, this seems to be something that will be extremely hard to prove.

    Also, just because this was the first chance we had to see the autopsy report, that does NOT mean the police, prosecutors, and Grand Jury did not have the majority or all of the information in the report at the time they brought charges. The autopsy report was not made public through the court as some outlets have reported. The autopsy report was made available when the coroner decided all tests had been completed. For some tests, it can take weeks or months for them to conclude. In other words, there is nothing in the autopsy that would necessarily change the specifics of the charges or investigation.

    Just because someone wants justice for Wayne Mills may not necessarily mean that they want the highest possible charges brought against Chris Ferrell. If 1st Degree Murder is brought, but the prosecution fails to prove it, Ferrell will be acquitted, even if 2nd Degree Murder or Manslaughter charges are warranted. It is the prosecution and Grand Jury’s job to charge the defendant with the degree of charges they believe can be successfully prosecuted.

    • Last time I checked, one is assumed innocent until proven guilty yet the general population has already tried, convicted & hung Mr. Ferrell before ALL of the evidence has come to light. This would include Media vultures who are more interested in a sensationalized headline or news story that affect the lives of many before obtaining and confirming all of the facts and evidence. I would like to remind everyone re: Mr. Mills autopsy results that the levels of drugs & alcohol registered were post-mortem which would have been a minimum of 10 or more hours as he was not only misidentified by Merto PD but a organ donor. He was artificially kept alive so they could harvest vital organs. This means that the body already had more than 10+ hours to metabolize any drugs or alcohol in his system. This would also indicate that the levels of amphetamines & alcohol were much higher at the time of the incident.
      Some of you self proclaimed “Perry Masons” need to do your homework on the effects mixing alcohol & amphetamines.
      The following is just an example of the limitless massive studies completed and data compiled on the effects of mixing alcohol & amphetamines.
      “It’s common for those who simultaneously abuse alcohol and Adderall (or other amphetamines) to experience a diminished depressive effect that often comes with drinking. This often leads to continued abuse in heightened doses. Continued combined abuse of alcohol and amphetamines also leads to hallucinations, extreme anxiety, and numerous other psychological symptoms. It severely compromises the central nervous system and can cause paranoid delusional psychosis, which very often leads to the user hurting themselves or others.”

      I don’t know about you but a 6’5- 6’6 300+lb man blown away on 3 times the legal limit of alcohol and amphetamines comes into your establishment, ignores plainly posted policy then physically attacks you, I’d say you have every right to defend yourself. As all of the facts come to light in this investigation (which in my opinion was compromised from the beginning due to the sloppiness of the Metro Nashville Police Dept.) I don’t think the evidence will be a positive reflection on Mr. Mills or make him out to be the upstanding member of society his drunken bar pals, outlaw friends & fans have made him out to be. No matter the circumstances this is an unfortunate and unnecessary tragedy that could have been prevented or avoided. One man has lost his life and no matter the outcome, the other man’s life will never be the same.

      Voice of Reason

      • “This would include Media vultures who are more interested in a sensationalized headline or news story that affect the lives of many before obtaining and confirming all of the facts and evidence.”

        I know you may not be specifically referring to Saving Country Music, but since you responded to me, I have to assume there’s at least chance. So just in case:

        There was nothing sensational about this title. “Wayne Mills tests positive for Amphetamine, gory details of headshot” would have been sensational. Saving Country Music is committed to serving the facts and details of this story with the express purpose of informing the public, and dispelling rumor and conjecture with information and facts, and doing so while taking into consideration BOTH sides of the story.

        Also, something I have seen numerous people say is that Wayne’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. Since Wayne was not operating a motor vehicle at the time he was killed, this is no legality to his blood alcohol level. There is no “legal limit” to intoxication, only to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be considered in Wayne’s state-of-mind at the time of the killing, but there is nothing illegal about being drunk.

        Also, I’m not sure it is fair to assume the blood used in the toxicology report was taken 10 hours after the incident, or that it has absolutely anything to do with his misidentification. Since Mills was receiving medical treatment very shortly after he was shot, it is very likely blood samples were taken very early on in the process, and those were the samples that were procured for toxicology as being the most accurate reading at the moment he was shot. There are also ways to measure, calculate, and compensate for metabolism that medical examiners can use during toxicology to accurately depict where the toxicology was at the time of an incident. There is no indication that the actual numbers of Wayne’s toxicology were greater than what was reported.

        • Trigger,
          my commnet re: the Media was a generalized statement and in no way directed toward you. Your Blog is actually one of the few blogs that have remianed objective.

          Re: Blood Alcohol & Drug levels: it was stated in the autopsy results that these blood levels were obtained “post-mortem” meaning clinically dead. Not speculation on my part, simple science based on the facts.

          Re: Over the Legal limits of Blood Alcohol levels, you can be arrested for public intoxication, this has nothing to do with driving but indicates an impaired physical & mental ability to normally function. That combined with amphetamines = a toxic combination & subject to make even the most gentle person violent & combative.

          Voice of Reason

      • You called us out for being armchair Perry Mason’ s then turn around and do the same thing. It’s only natural for us to speculate and try to figure out what happened to our friend. We know Wayne wasn’t perfect or a saint but he truly was a great man who really cared about people. Why do you think so many of us are so upset? If Wayne was the disrespectful jerk you paint him to be, do you think we would care so much? I’ve seen Wayne at different non smoking venues and he did not smoke when he knew it was non smoking. On of the places he played was owned by a very good friend of his and he didn’t take advantage of that friendship and smoke there. CF might have been Wayne’s friend but if Wayne ever played there, he was also Wayne’s boss in a way. Does it make any sense for Wayne to make someone who might hire him mad? No, it doesn’t. As I said before, Wayne was always very respectful of people. As far as the toxicology report, I would think they drew blood at the hospital for it. Wayne has been drinking for years and I’m sure he had built up a resistance to it. A lot of people do. I don’t know about the amphetamine in Wayne’s system. Yes, it could be from something like speed but, couldn’t it also be from prescription medication? I know Wayne had some serious back trouble. I know for a fact that it was hurting him so bad in the fall of 2012 that he was afraid he might need surgery.As to your comments about his drunken bar pals and outlaw friends and fans, you are obviously not well versed in outlaw music. Outlaw music is a style of country music. It doesn’t mean Wayne or his friends and fans are outlaws. Not all of us drink to drunkenness either. I know several who don’t drink a drop of alcohol or do drugs. I’ve known Wayne a long time. Since before his music career. I also know his family. My Daddy died two days after Wayne’s mother. Both had lost a battle with cancer. Wayne and his sister’s became like family to me during this time. We were all going through the same thing. You obviously didn’t know Wayne. If you did, you would see how all of this sounds so wrong. None of CF’ s story matches the Wayne Mills that we know. Yes, most of us have seen Wayne very drunk also. But Wayne was NOT a violent or mean person. I don’t know CF but, from what people who do know him have said, I’m glad I didn’t. He sounds like a thug. Your right, CF’ s life will never be the same. Neither will Wayne’s wife and sons. They deserve justice. That’s all that most of us want. Justice for Wayne and his family!!!

        • Robin,

          You have NO idea who I am or how well or close I am to the very Outlaws that guys like Wayne, Jamey Johnson, etc. aspire to be. I could school you & them on a few things.

          Your comment re: Chris being a Thug? Well Wayne has been hanging with these “thugs” for some time, so tell me again what a Saint he was. He was wasted on multiple substances in a bar @ 5 AM. Do you think the outcome would have been different had he been home with his wife and child? Does that mean he deserve to die? Absolutely not!! However he chose to mix alcohol & drugs and put himself in a less than civil environment. It is a tragedy.

          Voice of Reason

          • I never said Wayne was a saint. If you read what I said, I clearly stated that we knew he wasn’t a saint or perfect. I don’t know why Wayne was with the group he was with but, but Wayne wasn’t an outlaw. It’s a style of music and doesn’t mean the people playing it or listening to it are outlaws. Actually, Wayne didn’t like being stuck in a particular genre. Wayne didn’t want to be branded an outlaw. If you’ve read the chapter about Wayne in the book, “Outlaws Still at Large,” You might understand Wayne a little better. He wasn’t a saint and he did have a wild side but, he was a really great person. I don’t know you anymore than you know me. I don’t know why Wayne was there that night. He often hung out with friends after hours. Sometimes just to hang out and sometimes probably to network. Maybe I’m wrong in calling CF a thug. That’s just the impression I get of him from the comments from people who do know him. Some who call him a friend even. I just want justice. I think that’s all anyone wants and I know in my heart, that justice will be served either here on earth or after CF leaves it. It’s hard to be unbiased when you are a friend of Wayne’s. I know Wayne’s character and how he was raised and the man he grew up to be. I’m not arguing with you anymore about it. We are both just speculating on what happened that morning. The only people who know what happened are CF and Wayne. CF can speak for himself. I don’t believe him but he has the ability. CF took that away from Wayne and I feel it’s the responsibility of Wayne’s friends to speak for him. Wayne’s family has enough to deal with. I believe I’ve said all I can say here without repeating myself even more. Praying for justice for Wayne and his family.

      • The body doesn’t continue to metabolize drugs after death. Second, he could have had a prescription for Adderall or Dexedrine. It was an autopsy report, not his medical history.

        • Dear “Is Stupid”

          Mr. Mills was kept on life support for hours in order to keep the organs vital until they could harvest them, therefore the heart was still pumping & the body was in fact still metabolizing. This is the Medical Examiner’s Autopsy results so don’t be mad when they aren’t what you want to hear. If in fact Mr. Mills did have a RX of Adderall then he of all people should be aware of the dangers & risks associated with mixing it with alcohol. I hope if anyone under the influence of the same toxic combination ever strong-arms you or physically comes at you on or in your property that you can simply get them to sit down & reason with them Dr. Phil.

          • Voice of Reason,

            I have the original autopsy report. Nowhere does it allude to the toxicology being tainted because it was taken 10 hours after the shooting occurred. It does say it is postmortem toxicology, but this could simply be a title because the subject is deceased. There is no indication anywhere in the autopsy that the blood was taken 10 hours after the incident, and that somehow the results should be given even greater scrutiny, or that Wayne Mills’ state of inebriation should be assumed to have been dramatically worse at the time of the shooting.

            Wayne Mills was hooked up to life support systems for 9+ hours between when he was shot, and when he passed. Those system would have been pumping him full of IV liquids, and filtering his blood if his kidneys were not doing so naturally. In all likelihood if the toxicology had been run 10 hours after the shooting, his blood alcohol would have been 0.00, and he would have tested positive for all manner of drugs they were pumping into his body to keep him alive and sedated.

            The toxicology report on Wayne Mills is a damming piece of information against him, portraying him as drunk and high at the time of the killing. To then take this report and say that the reality of Wayne’s state of inebriation is being undersold, especially when this is not substantiated by anything but your assumptions, I think is incorrect.

          • Standard emergency room prodedures require what is typically referred to as DOB or “drugs on board” assessement be performed very early so the staff knows exactly what they are dealing with. Assuming all ERs follow the same procedure then the level of alcohol was likely higher than the post mortum toxicology however the amphetamine level of 23 ng/ml would have too but again, it would not have been at a level which would indicate recent abuse. The cut off level for abuse is a level greater than 1000 ng/ml.

            Here’s information from the Journal of Analytical Toxicology that should help… “Any urine yielding a response lower than a1000-ng/mL calibrator response is considered negative for amphetamine,and no additional testing is performed.” Albeit this is based on a urine sample and in this case the post mortum analysis was from a blood sample both produce the same result and indicate no recent abuse.

          • Even some over the counter medications result in amphetamine tox screen results. A finding of amphetamine does NOT in itself imply Mr. Mills abused drugs.

      • “…often leads to…” & more often does not.

        • Dee,

          Whether or not Mr. Mills or Mr. Ferrell abused drugs prior to this incident is irrelevant. Neither parties priors will be admissible in court which could actually be a good thing for Mr. Mills as he had already been charged with multiple DUI’s.

          What is relavent in this circumstance is what physical & mind altering substances were found in Mr. Mills system at the time of the incident that would provoke him to physically attack someone, let alone someone who he knowingly knew was legally carrying a firearm.

          Trust me, I know everyone wants to believe the best in the people they care about but “the facts” can not be ignored in a court of law no matter what a “great guy” Wayne’s friends may think he was.


  • Trigger,

    There is nothing within my previous posts that stated or even alluded to anything re: Toxicology reports being tainted. I have a medical back ground so I guess that makes me approach this from a clinical perspective. It is safe to say that the levels alcohol & amphetamines were higher at the time of the incident than when collected post-mortem for tox screening. This is where I leave this thread and will allow FACTS not speculation, emotion or wishful thinking to determine my verdict.

    • Well you said that the toxicology was taken some ten hours later and that since his body should have metabolized most of those drugs and alcohol then he must have been really wasted. Before even reading Trigger’s response, I inferred that you meant that the toxicology report is tainted. I tell you, I’ve read all your comments and I am not sure what your position is. But for argument sake, lets say you re’ correct that Wayne was no saint. Wayne’s dead. Ferrell is alive. He shot him in the back of the head from a distance. He and Wayne does drugs together, you said. First of all, so what? All that tell me is that apparently he is accustomed to seeing Wayne in a intoxicated state. So what makes him decide to kill him that day? If Wayne was a good distance from him and he had a gun, no matter what the situation was, he had the upper hand. If you have a gun and someone does not, then you have the upper hand. There is no way to explain that away. What, Wayne was running to get his gun? Is that the argument? I agreed with someone who said, “why did he not just shoot him in the leg?” that would have incapacitated Wayne, and it would make validate all those inconsistent stories he is trying to get people to believe. He is an ex military guy. That means he probably do not miss. So why point his gun at the back of Wayne’s head. Why kill him? .

  • I am fascinated by someone with a ” medical background ” who could “school” people on the Outlaw movement of country music. One diverse know it all ain’t he? At the end of the day, no one is ever going to convince me that a shot to the head is necessary to defend oneself from a distance. Hell the only thing likely in Wayne’s state of drunkenness is that he was slower and less steady than normal. Even less of a threat. I’ve seen Wayne drunk, on Aderrall ,and pIssed off. Violent he wasn’t, even then. His tendency was more towards hurt at the end of bad day. Let down. Bummed. But Violent? Nada. Chris Michaels on the other hand….

    • Schooling on the Outlaw Movement? Yes, as a native Nashvillian and someone who has been around the very artists that defined “The Outlaw Movement” of the 1970’s for my entire life, you bet I could enlighten you.

      Medical background? Yes, believe it or not some of us Hillbillies in Nashville actually go to college and have degrees & careers outside of the music business.

      The above postings are a prime example of how people twist words and read into it what they want. Facts people, FACTS!! “What if’s” are speculation.

  • Why was my comment that i posted last night not allowed or omitted ? there were no FBombs or foul language ? just a personal opinion like everyone else here is posting.. If you are selective with what is or isn’t allowed to be viewed on this supposedly open forum, then, it’s biased, contrary to popular belief. Just curious ….

    • John Scott,

      I can assure you I did not delete your comment. I’m not saying that for some other reason it may have been moderated or considered spam and not posted. I get dozens of comments every day, and thousands of spam ones that must be filtered through the system, and every once and a while there are errors. Even stranger that this comment posted just fine and I didn’t even need to moderate it.

      Either way, I encourage you to go ahead and post the comment, and I apologize if it was accidentally deleted.

  • VOR with your medical background you should know about graphs and extrapolation and zero and first order kinetics. Like many people who are wiser than you have pointed out, it doesn’t say when they took the blood sample. Another possibility that you haven’t looked at is that they took his levels and used known elimination rates to help calculate what his level was at the time the bullet struck him from BEHIND based on the time elapsed from the blood draw and the moment in question. It is done many many times over. People that actually are reasonable can do this.

    It’s also a little annoying to hear people say he was 3 times over the legal limit. .08 is not the “legal limit” that everyone keeps referring to. All 0.08 means is that is a prosecutor can show that someone was at 0.08 or higher than that is the legal threshold for a presumptive guilt. That’s all they have to show, they don’t have to show that the driver was swerving or weaving or ran a red light or hit a guardrail or caused an accident or anything else that one would consider bad driving. On the flip side if someone is at a 0.02 and is driving horribly and kills someone they can still be guilty or drunk driving. So to say he was 3 times drunk is not a fair statement. I’m not saying that he had a clear mind and was acting perfectly but stop making it like he had turned into a monster cause he was drunk. Let eyewitnesses tell the story as to how he was acting because if you have more than 10 friends that drink, then you know some people can handle themselves and some people are wasted after 3 beers.

    Now onto the amphetamine level. Everyone is quick to accuse him of being on meth or abusing Adderall. Not only was his medical history not disclosed, did anyone look up what the therapeutic level should be, in other words what is the blood level indicating the desired medical effect. I did, and here’s the link from Vanderbilt

    20 to 30 ng per ml of blood is the desired therapeutic level. If he was prescribed it, then his Dr. had him on the right dose exactly and does not suggest abuse. If he was a meth user, that number should be a methamphetamine level and probably much higher.

    VOR don’t get mad that I just went Mozgov on you

    • Dear Paste & copy,

      Since you like to spew regurgitated data here is some for you copied & pasted from this very thread:

      The autopsy report also included a postmortem toxicology workup testing for a wide spectrum of substances in Wayne’s body. The report concluded that Wayne’s blood alcohol level was 0.221. Mills also tested positive for amphetamine, at 23 ng/ml. No other substances came back positive.

      post·mor·tem (pst-môrtm)
      1. Occurring or done after death.

      Postmortem drug concentrations do not necessarily reflect
      concentrations at the time of death, as drug levels may vary
      according to the sampling site and the interval between death and
      specimen collection. These site- and time-dependent variations are
      called “postmortem redistribution” (PMR). The underlying
      mechanisms are complex and of different types. Passive drug
      release from drug reservoirs such as the gastrointestinal tract, liver,
      lungs, and myocardium may occur immediately after death and,
      later on, cell autolysis and the putrefactive process participate in
      redistribution. There is evidence that basic lipophilic drugs with a
      large distribution volume are particularly susceptible to PMR.
      Nevertheless, this cannot explain the actual PMR of some nonbasic,
      nonlipophUic drugs. In addition, the persistence of drug metabolism
      immediately after death must be considered. Consequently, it is of
      great importance to analyze specimens from different sampling
      sites in order to detect potential PMR and avoid misinterpretation
      of results.

      Mozgov on me? Don’t think so, do your homework.

      Fortunately for all parties invloved the true professionals will be the ones consulted on this case.

  • He wasn’t driving a vehicle or behind the wheel.

  • Seems to me that there is too much talk about how much the VICTIM had been drinking over the course of the night and not nearly enough talk about the extent of his injuries and the trail of blood at the scene. Not to mention that all witnesses from that evening have stated that the KILLER had been out drinking at bars too. Likely, his BAC would be the same as the victim’s.

  • What was John Scott’s comment? And was this the same John Scott that was asked to leave the Silver Dollar Saloon the night of Wayne’s benefit??

  • I can’t fathom how self defense could be used when a person is shot in the back of the head from a distance. As I understand it Mills was unarmed, is that correct?
    May truth prevail. God rest his soul.

  • VOR ur a sick. Heartless person and.Ur pissed cause u know he is alreaxy found guilty

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