Wayne Mills, Country Star Killed in Bar, Was Shot in Back of Head

Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 07:59 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Wayne Mills, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who was fatally shot in a bar fight last November, might not have been killed in self-defense as the shooter initially told police.

Bar owner Chris Ferrell’s claim that he shot Mills in self-defense in his downtown Nashville Pit and Barrel bar appeared to conflict with the medical examiner’s office finding that Mills had been shot in the back of the head, the Associated Press reported.

According to Ferrell, he and Mills had gotten into an argument in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 23 after the musician lit up a cigarette in a no-smoking area of the bar. Mills died of the gunshot12 hours after he was rushed to a local hospital.

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While the Davidson County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Mills’ cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, the report also found that the musician had suffered two broken ribs as well as several bruises and scrapes.

Additionally, the report stated that there was no evidence that the gun was fired at close range, the AP noted.

Due to the medical examiner’s findings, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department concluded the evidence did not support Ferrell's self-defense claim and charged him with second degree murder. He was subsequently set free on a $150,000 bond.

Beverley Keel, a spokeswoman for the Mills family, would not comment, citing the ongoing police investigation into the incident, while attempts to contact Ferrell's attorney, David Raybin, were not successful.

Raybin had in the past said his client is not guilty of any degree of homicide, according to the AP.

Ferrell and Mills both had prior arrests, with the bar owner having been twice picked up on charges of driving with a suspended license, while Mills had two DUI-related convictions.

Mills led the Wayne Mills Band, which enjoyed a loyal following and small-town success. Singers like Blake Shelton and "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks opened for Mills before they made it big.

Prior to the country music star’s death, the Pit and Barrel pub was reportedly supposed to have been featured on an episode of Spike TV's "Bar Rescue," a reality show that sends nightclub expert Jon Taffer around the country to help revamp and transform struggling bars.

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