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Bar Owner Arrested in Shooting Death of Singer Wayne Mills

(Taste of Country) – Chris Ferrell, the Nashville bar owner who shot and killed country singer Wayne Mills on Nov. 23, turned himself in to police on Friday (Dec. 6) after learning that a grand jury had indicted him on second-degree murder charges.

Ferrell and his lawyer deny he’s guilty. They say the shooting happened in self defense.

The incident made national news. The two men — who who were reported to be friends — began arguing around 5AM, reportedly because Mills was smoking a cigarette in a non-smoking area of the Pit and Barrel bar. No one witnessed the shooting itself, but several people outside heard the arguing and the gunshot. An autopsy revealed Mills was shot in the back of the head.

The Tennesseean reports that Ferrell has faced violent charges before, including last summer when he was charged with domestic assault after an alleged fight with a former girlfriend. That charge was later dismissed (as was an interfering with an emergency call charge), but a vandalism charge was bound over to a grand jury.

Mills was a married father to a son named Jack. A memorial is scheduled for Sunday (Dec. 8) in his hometown of Arab, Ala. On Wednesday night, a memorial concert and benefit was held at the Tin Roof in Nashville, the proceeds of which went to the singer’s family.

Blake Shelton, Jamey Johnson and ‘American Idol’ winner Taylor Hicks were among the stars who’ve played with Mills and his band, the Wayne Mills Band.

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Melissa Lambrecht