Friends, fans, and family of slain country music artist Wayne Mills will have to wait a little longer to attempt to get the answers and justice they seek in the songwriter’s death. The 2nd Degree Murder trial for the man accused of killing Wayne, bar owner Chris Ferrell, has been pushed back nearly five months from its originally scheduled date of November 17th, 2014, to a new date of March 2nd, 2015 according to the Davidson County Criminal Court. It is a jury trial in the court of Judge Steve Dozier.
A court spokesperson told Saving Country Music that the delay in the trial likely had to do with scheduling, and does not necessarily represent a change in the particulars of the trial. “It could be the the defendant’s attorney, it could be the District Attorney, it could be the judge. It could just be scheduling for that date,” a court representative said. A discussion docket for charges of assault, vandalism, and interference with a 911 call against Chris Ferrell stemming from a previous incident was also moved from November 17th to March 2nd.
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, 2013. The two men were hanging out after the George Jones Tribute concert at the Bridgestone Arena earlier that evening. 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 of the bar, Ferrell later claimed 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 that police had not recovered. Subsequently, the Pit & Barrel 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 ribs and other trauma Wayne Mills had suffered.
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.