According to Nashville Police, Chris Ferrell, owner of the Pit & Barrell Bar, has been arrested on 2nd degree murder charges in the death of country music songwriter and Outlaw artist Wayne Mills. “Bar owner Christopher Michael Ferrell surrendered himself a short time ago on a Davidson County Grand Jury indictment charging him with second-degree murder for the November 23rd shooting death of musician Jerald Wayne Mills.”
44 year-year-old Jerald Wayne Mills was at the Pit and Barrel Bar at 5 AM on November 23rd when apparently an altercation erupted with the owner, Chris Michael Ferrell, after Wayne was smoking in a non-smoking area. Everyone else in the bar went outside, and later witnesses heard gunshots fired and called police. Ferrell told police he acted in self-defense. The bar owner has a valid handgun carry permit. Chris Ferrell and Wayne Mills were reportedly friends, and they were hanging out at the bar after attending the George Jones Tribute earlier in the evening. Wayne Mills was initially mistakenly identified by witnesses as another Nashville songwriter, Clayton Mills, before the error was discovered many hours into the investigation.
Earlier Friday, Saving Country Music reported that the homicide investigation had been turned over to the Grand Jury by the Davidson County District Attorneys after the preliminary investigation had been concluded by police investigators.