In the Davidson County Criminal Court of Judge Steve Dozier on Tuesday (3-3), opening arguments were heard by the jury, and the prosecution began to call their first witnesses. As part of the prosecution’s presentation, the 911 call made by the defendant Christopher Ferrell was played for the courtroom and entered into evidence.
As came out in court during opening arguments by both the prosecution and defense, Chris Ferrell initially claimed to Nashville police that Wayne Mills had pulled a gun on him before Ferrell shot the country music artist with a .22 pistol. Three shots were fired at Mills after an altercation broke out about smoking in the Pit and Barrel bar Chris Ferrell owned. The third shot struck Wayne Mills in the back of the head, eventually killing him. Chris Ferrell is facing 2nd Degree Murder charges in the incident.
Ferrell first told investigators Wayne Mills “pulled a gun on him,” then said Mills “grabbed at something” according to Assistant District Attorney Wesley King. As time went on, Ferrell’s stories continued to change until he finally admitted to shooting Wayne Mills while Wayne was unarmed. Ferrell also staged a .45 Taurus pistol at the crime scene to make it look like Wayne Mills had used the gun. Ferrell plead Not Guilty to the charges, and is claiming self-defense in the case.
As can be clearly heard in the 911 call, Chris Ferrell’s very first communication with authorities alluded to Wayne Mills pulling a gun on him. The prosecution also points out that even though Chris Ferrell was the first to call 911 in the incident, he first dragged Wayne Mills back into the Pit and Barrel, and spent four minutes talking to a friend on the phone. The defense does not argue that Chris Ferrell initially lied to police, only that he was under duress at the time.
Saving Country Music will have further coverage of what the witnesses testified to in court on Tuesday. For other updates in the case (numbered in sequential order), see below.