Life as it unfolds... by country music song writer Ben Krahne

Outlaws & Angels

They say cigarettes can kill you, but gun fire isn't supposed to be included in the scenario. Unfortunately, it only took one cigarette lit to kill country music singer, Wayne Mills. Apparently, some business owners take their non-smoking sections way too seriously. What's the big deal if someone lights up in the non-smoking section AFTER HOURS? Is that really a reason to draw your gun?

It's never self-defense when someone is shot while they're walking away. But that's exactly how Wayne Mills died - a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.

Nashville police didn't arrest the shooter, "because he legally owned the gun" and "he had a permit."

Is it just me, or does anyone else see things wrong with this story? Getting into an argument is one thing. Getting shot while walking away is something altogether different, as is not being arrested simply because you are packing a legal weapon. Chris Ferrell was not shot. There are no reports of any physical injury to his person. None of this makes sense. And there are no witnesses to what really happened except Chris Ferrell.

chris-ferrell-mug-shotJudging by this mugshot from a previous arrest, Chris Ferrell doesn't look like the kind of person you'd want to get to know. The news has dredged up police history of both him and Wayne. Can you live to be 40-something and never cross paths with the law? Maybe, but most people seem to find themselves there at one point or another. However, Chris Ferrell is a known aggressive person with charges still pending on domestic aggression from July 2013. That's recent signs of abusive tendencies. Wayne, on the other hand, has a completely different history of brushes with the law, and none of them involve aggression. Additionally, he was loved by all who knew him. Long-time country icon, T. S. Sheppard calls Wayne "the gentle giant."

Ferrell started the argument. Looks like he had to have the last say too. How is it threatening when someone walks away? In fact, the fatal shot Wayne Mills took in the back of his head wasn't fired at close range, but across the bar into a different area of the building. So, he hadn't just turned around - he was well into walking away from the altercation. Again, how is this anything near self-defense?

The wheels of justice turn slowly, and it could take months before the outcome in this case is known. Having personally seen injustice delivered by courts in several states,  without eye witnesses willing to sign an affidavit, I don't put much weight on truth being involved. Justice doesn't always mean what's right or best is what happens. There are many outlaws who simply walk away the victor, laughing over their victim's loss. Some people can convince anyone or anything. It's called manipulation. Something a narcissist excels at to the point of perfection.

I’ve known Wayne for over ten years and in that time I’ve come to understand that it’s not a party until Wayne gets there. His  music and personality bring out the best in people around him. -- Blake Shelton



Country fans and industry pros who knew Wayne and his music are mourning the loss of his personality, his presence, his talent, and his contribution. His son, Jack is mourning the loss of his Dad, and his wife is mourning the loss of the man she loved. So what did Chris Ferrell lose?

Wayne Mills may not have risen to be a country music super star, but he was great. A great person. A great talent whose music was loved by many. Super-stardom never really mattered to him. He wasn't after fame. It was all about the music and tradition for him.

... one of the last Great Honky Tonk singers. He is a Real Country Singer and someone the world needs to hear. -- Colt Ford

Rest in peace, Wayne. May the angels develop a keen liking for the sound of honkey tonk and pure outlaw country with a southern rock twist so you never have to put away your God-given talent, or stop doing what you love.

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5 Responses to "Outlaws & Angels"

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