Bar owner charged in the shooting of country singer Wayne Mills

Chris Ferrell says he shot the singer in self-defence

Bar owner charged in the shooting of country singer Wayne Mills

Photo: Press

Bar owner Chris Ferrell has been charged over the shooting of country singer Wayne Mills

Mills was shot dead last month in a Nashville bar after reportedly arguing with the owner over a smoking ban, lighting up a cigarette in the non-smoking area of the downtown bar, called Pit and Barrel.

Mills was rushed to hospital, but died at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, police said. Ferrell states that he opened fire in self-defence. No arrests were made at the time, but Ferrell was arrested yesterday (December 6) on a second-degree murder charge, reports the Tennessean.

Ferrell's lawyer David Raybin says that his client surrendered as soon as he found he had been indicted on the charge of second-degree murder. Raybin said: "I have every intention of contesting this charge. My client denies that he's guilty of any degree of homicide."

The Wayne Mills Band had been playing for more than 15 years, performing mostly on the college circuit. Country music stars Jamey Johnson and Blake Shelton and American Idol winner Taylor Hicks had opened as support acts for the band early on in their careers. Shelton tweeted: "Extremely sad to hear about the death of my old friend Wayne Mills."

The pub where the incident took place, Pit And Barrel, was due to have featured on a TV programme called Bar Rescue, which features struggling bars given makeovers by a nightclub expert on the Sunday following the death, but cable network Spike TV subsequently decided to pull the episode.

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