Chris Ferrell will serve 20 years in prison for shooting and killing country singer Wayne Mills. Last week’s sentencing brings legal proceedings to an end after 17 difficult months for all involved.

Ferrell was found guilty of second degree murder in March. He was the owner of the Pit and Barrel bar on 2nd Ave. in Nashville. On Nov. 23, 2013, the two friends were among a group of people drinking when an argument broke out about Mills smoking inside the bar. Testimony (via The Tennessean) says Mills threatened to kill Ferrell before the now-46-year-old grabbed a gun and fired at the singer.

The judge said he didn’t believe Ferrell was strongly provoked, as testimony showed the two men were 15 to 20 feet apart, with a bar between them. The sentence was a compromise between what prosecutors and defense attorneys were seeking. Ferrell will not be eligible for a reduction at any point, but his attorneys promised to appeal the case and seek a new trial.

Still, Ferrell looked humbled while giving an emotional apology. “I stand here today with the heaviest heart conscious and soul,” he said. “I will carry the memory of that horrible night forever.”

“I am so, so sorry for my actions that in an instant changed so many lives," he furthered.

Several well-known country singers were friends with or had played with Mills prior to his death. Upon hearing the news, Blake Shelton tweeted “Extremely sad to hear about the death of my old friend Wayne Mills @WayneMillsBand. Rest in peace brother. Love you Carol.”

Taylor Hicks and Jamey Johnson were also friends of the singer. Carol was Mills' wife. He left behind a young son named Jack.