Bar Owner Charged In Singer’s Death Out On Bond

The Nashville bar owner charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of singer-songwriter Wayne Mills was released from jail Monday.

Christopher Ferrell’s bond was lowered from $300,000 to $150,000 during a 90-minute hearing, The Tennessean reported. The judge also ordered that Ferrell must regularly check in with a bail bondsman and give up his gun collection.

He was released Monday evening, according to the newspaper.

Ferrell has told police he fatally shot Mills in self-defense early Nov. 23 after the two got into an argument over the musician smoking a cigarette in a no-smoking area of Ferrell’s Pit and Barrel. Mills, who toured for more than 15 years as the lead singer of the Wayne Mills Band, was rushed to the hospital and died that evening.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has said an investigation concluded the evidence did not support Ferrell’s claim of self-defense.

Prosecutors asked the judge to keep the higher bond because of prior arrests and because he awaits a hearing on a separate vandalism charge. Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sobrero also said that Ferrell has family in many states and could be a flight risk.

Defense attorney David Raybin said the original bond was “extraordinarily high” and said it should be lowered because Ferrell called 911 after the shooting.

“He could have run for tall weeds. He didn’t,” Raybin said.

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Ferrell testified Monday that he’d been sent threats by text message, social media and voicemail and had been wearing a bulletproof vest for safety before he was arrested Dec. 6.