May
9

Wayne Mills Murder Case Headed to Trial

May 9, 2014 - By Trigger  //  News  //  15 Comments

wayne-mills-3The 2nd Degree Murder case against former Pit & Barrel Bar owner Chris Michael Ferrell who is accused of killing country music artist Wayne Mills, is headed to trial. Chris Ferrell was in the Davidson County District Court today in downtown Nashville as part of a discussion date about the pending charges. A trial date was set for November 17th. It will be a jury trial in the court of Judge Steve Dozier.

Chris Ferrell’s lawyer, David Raybin, also made another motion to attempt to remove GPS monitoring from Ferrell. A similar motion had been made as part of Ferrell’s last court date. Once again that motion was denied by Judge Dozier, but the fee Ferrell is required to pay for the monitoring was capped at $100.

The court date ends a period where the prosecution and defense attempted to reach an out-of-court resolution. “Each side tries to set a resolution,” Susan Niland of the Davidson County District Attorney’s office explains. “95% of cases resolve without a trial.” The setting of a trial date means the two parties could not reach a settlement. The Wayne Mills murder trial will commence just a few days before the one year anniversary of his death.

Chris Ferrell

Chris Ferrell

Wayne Mills was shot and killed by Chris Ferrell at the Pit & Barrel Bar in Nashville—a bar that Chris Ferrell owned— at roughly 5 AM on November 23rd. The two men had been hanging out after the George Jones Tribute concert at the Bridgestone Arena earlier that night. Chris Ferrell called 911, and when police arrived, he claimed he shot Mills in self-defense. Though the first reports had the altercation starting because Wayne was smoking in a non-smoking section, Ferrell later said in court that Wayne had come to the bar to “rob and kill” him. 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. Subsequently, the bar has been liquidated.

The autopsy report for Wayne Mills released on January 16th showed that the musician had been shot in the back of the head, and there was no powder burns that would indicate the shot was fired at close range. To fans and family of the deceased singer, this refutes Chris Ferrell’s claims of self-defense in the killing. The autopsy also revealed broken bones and other trauma Wayne Mills had suffered, and a slight testing for amphetamines that friends say was tied to an Adderall prescription.

After the killing, Chris Ferrell remained free for two weeks, until being indicted by a grand jury and turning himself into police. He was subsequently released and is currently free on a $150,000 bond.

15 Comments to “Wayne Mills Murder Case Headed to Trial”

  • I hope this mess gets cleared up and Wayne’s family are compensated in some way. Any news on his Long Hard Road album?

       2 likes

    • Have not heard anything as of yet.

         0 likes

      • I remember our last discussion on your listening duties so please don’t think of me as badgering, but did you ever check out Wayne’s album Under the Influence of Outlaws & Mama that I included a link to in a previous article? Or was it already on your radar? Just curious. After having checked out The Last Honky Tonk at your suggestion, I was suddenly a fan of the man’s music. Likewise, I went searching for his other works and since we’re unlikely to get his final work released, I feel like the older material is relevant to the conversation. After all, it’s hard to find as you said.

           1 likes

        • I wouldn’t call his final album “unlikely” to be released at all. I think it is very likely it will be released. I just don’t know when. I think the family and such are still dealing with his passing and the legal issues that are lingering, but I do anticipate it will be released, and likely in the next year or so.

          As for “Under The Influence”, as you know Acca, I don’t like to play my hand in thecomments on things I’m either not familiar enough with or might review in the future. ;)

             0 likes

      • I wouldn’t call his final album “unlikely” to be released at all. I think it is very likely it will be released. I just don’t know when. I think the family and such are still dealing with his passing and the legal issues that are lingering, but I do anticipate it will be released, and likely in the next year or so. As for “Under The Influence”, as you know Acca, I don’t like to play my hand in the comments on things I’m either not familiar enough with or might review in the future. ;)

        Awesome news! I was just turning it over in my mind and thinking since his other work is hard to find that this new album would fade into oblivion. Nice to hear that it’s likely to see the light of day after all. Nice to hear about the review as well. Not to be too presumptuous, but if it was my suggestion that turned you onto the latter album it would absolutely make my day. That said, I’ll wait to see if it crops up in the future ;)

           0 likes

  • Smoking.
    Shot in the back of the head.
    Was trying to rob and kill.

    Honky Tonk Cock A Donk.

       2 likes

    • Leather Telecaster, I believe the smoking was his initial complaint. I guess once he was informed how ridiculous that complaint was, it has since then evolved into Wayne came into his bar to rob and kill him and he was just protecting himself.

         0 likes

      • I don’t understand.

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  • As a writer in the media , independent or otherwise, don’t you have to state he “Allegedly shot Wayne Mills”? Serious question. I just always thought you had too. Either way I hope the SOB get’s what he deserves.

       0 likes

    • Hey Greg,

      That’s a good question. There’s no disputing that Chris Ferrell shot Wayne Mills. Chris has admitted to this, and was the one to call 911. The question is if he shot Wayne in self-defense, as he claims. But as for shooting him, even Chris Ferrell does not dispute this.

         1 likes

      • Ohh I forgot he did admit to shooting Him. My fault man.

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  • I still want to know if Mills was armed. There were witnesses. This whole thing stanks.
    It’s like a corporate media circus.

       0 likes

  • I saw an article linked to the autopsy report that shows Mills had a BAC of 0.221 & methamphetamine in his system at time of death. Now, please don’t take this as me saying he deserved it, but clearly there is MUCH to this story that’s yet to come out. My only hope is that justice is served.

    My guess is it gets pled down to manslaughter. What little has come out this far makes it seem likely. I do have a friend from college who’s on the Nashville Metro PD as a detective, but obviously this info doesn’t come from him & I wouldn’t ask him to divulge anything. This is based on observation of prosecutorial patterns in the area & what facts have come out thus far.

    The article discussing the autopsy was on MSN & seemed to be written almost as a bit piece on Blake Shelton (it described Mills as his “mentor” & friend, basically saying Mills had drug, alcohol & anger issues, phrased in such a way as to call both men’s character into question), so it should be taken with a spoonful of salt, but the autopsy results linked appeared legit.

       0 likes

    • Kelcy,

      I’m not trying to brag whatsoever, but Saving Country Music was the first to obtain a copy of autopsy report and to report on it. And yes, the blood alcohol level and positive test for methamphetamine are both in there.

      Not to speculate too much, but not that a trial date has been set, I think the likelihood of the two sides reaching a plea deal have dramatically decreased. It is still possible, but ever since the indictment came down, the two sides have been trying to reach a deal, and were unable to. I think Chris Ferrell thinks he’s completely innocent, and the only way to prove that is going to be through a trial. I don’t think he ever seriously entertained the idea of a plea deal.

         0 likes

      • You may very well be correct. I just don’t think they’ve got what it takes to convict on the current charge, but more could well come out. I guess plea deal wasn’t the right wording. I could certainly see a jury choosing to convict on a lesser crime than the current charge anyway.

        The autopsy findings regarding drugs & alcohol will likely help the defense a good bit.

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