Man Charged With Killing Wayne Mills Released From Jail
The Nashville man accused of shooting and killing country singer Wayne Mills has been released from jail.
The Tennessean newspaper reports that 45-year-old Chris Ferrell was released on Monday (Dec. 16) after a hearing at which his bond was lowered.
Ferrell surrendered himself to police on Dec. 6 after learning that he had been indicted on charges of second-degree murder stemming from the shooting, which took place at the Pit and Barrel in downtown Nashville on Nov. 23. According to reports, Ferrell shot Mills in the head after the two men argued about Mills smoking a cigarette in the non-smoking area of the bar, of which Ferrell is the owner.
Ferrell's bond was initially set at $300,000, but lowered to $150,000 on Monday after an unusually long hearing that brought to light new evidence in the case.
His attorney, David Raybin, told Judge Steve Dozier that a private investigator he hired had turned up an additional bullet lodged in the wall of the bar that police investigators failed to find, calling into question the turn of events that led to Mills' death. Ferrell has insisted that he acted in self defense, telling responders to the scene that Mills tried to rob and kill him. Raybin pointed out in court that his client was the one who called 911. “He could have run for tall weeds. He didn’t,” he noted.
Ferrell testified that his life has been threatened via text message, voice mail and social media since the story broke, and that he had taken to wearing a bulletproof vest prior to his indictment.
"My voice mail filled up, and then I shut the business line off, which stopped many calls," he says in the video above, which aired on Nashville's Fox News.
Raybin asked for Ferrell's bond to be reduced to $25,000, while Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sobrero asked that it remain at $300,000, citing prior charges -- including domestic assault, interfering with an emergency call and vandalism -- stemming from an alleged fight Ferrell had with a former girlfriend over the summer. The charges of assault and interfering were later dismissed, while the vandalism charge was bound over to the grand jury.
Instead, Judge Dozier cut the bond in half, but with stipulations that include where Ferrell will live, and how often he will have to check in with a bail bondsman. Ferrell was also ordered to surrender more than a dozen guns that he owns.
Ferrell is now free while awaiting his next court date.