News

Gregg Allman filmmakers plead not guilty to manslaughter

Gregg Allman filmmakers plead not guilty to manslaughter

Musician Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band attends a news conference to announce a concert run by his band at New York's Beacon Theatre on November 22, 2010. Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The director and producer of a film about rock singer Gregg Allman on Thursday said they pleaded not guilty in Georgia on charges stemming from a death on the set of the movie “Midnight Rider.”

Director Randall Miller and his wife, producer Jody Savin, were indicted, along with executive producer Jay Sedrish, two weeks ago on involuntary manslaughter charges after a camera operator was killed in February when she was struck by a train during production.

Miller and Savin said in a statement released by their attorney that in their more than two decades in the film and television industry, they have always emphasized safety on set.

“In the weeks and months that follow when the true facts of the events are revealed, people will know that this was not a crime: We never had criminal intent; we would never knowingly or intentionally put anybody’s safety at risk,” the couple said in a statement. “This was a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident.”

Atlanta resident Sarah Elizabeth Jones, 27, died on Feb. 20 after an oncoming train tore through the set while the movie crew installed equipment to film on some train tracks and a trestle bridge in rural Wayne County near Savannah.

Her death sparked an awareness campaign in Hollywood about safety for crew on film sets, and at the Oscars ceremony earlier this year, Jones’ name was included in the “in memoriam” tribute segment.

Six other crew members were injured during the accident.

An attorney for Sedrish did not immediately return a call seeking information on when the producer would enter a plea.

Authorities have said the film company, Unclaimed Freight Productions Inc, did not have permission to film on an active train track. It did have permission to be on property nearby.

The manslaughter charges against Miller, Savin and Sedrish could bring a possible sentence of 10 years in prison.

Jones’ parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Miller, Allman, production companies involved with the film and the operators of the trains and owners of the land that the incident occurred on.

Latest Stories

in Local Sports, Sports, UVA Sports

Virginia Defeats Cleveland State 70-54 To Remain Unbeaten

VSabre for web~1240x800 copy

Virginia continues their undefeated season with a 70-54 win.

in National

Jobless claims signal firmer labor market

Job seekers adjust their paperwork as they wait in line to attend a job fair in New York February 28, 2013.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.

in National

Accused Boston bomber appears in court

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect told a judge that he was satisfied with his lawyers' preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack.

in Entertainment

Third ‘Night at the Museum’ marks final film for Williams, Rooney

nightatthemuseum

The credits for "Secret of the Tomb," which opens Friday, read "In loving memory of Mickey Rooney," and "For Robin Williams - the magic never ends."

in Local, Virginia Assembly

Morrissey Resigns – Will Run For Seat Again

State Capitol (JT)

An embattled lawmaker is resigning after being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but he'll run again for the seat he's vacating.