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 Music

Judge refuses to dismiss ‘Blurred Lines’ lawsuit

pharrell

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have failed to convince a judge to dismiss a copyright lawsuit.

in Entertainment

Oprah, Neil Patrick Harris among year’s most ‘fascinating’

FILE - This Sept. 20, 2009 file photo shows host Neil Patrick Harris during the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Harris will host the Emmys again. CBS will air the Emmycast live from Los Angeles on Sept. 22. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)

Barbara Walters is back with her annual TV special.

in Entertainment

Toys ‘R’ Us pulls ‘Breaking Bad’ dolls after protest

breaking

If a Walter White action figure was on your Christmas list, it just got more difficult to find.

in Entertainment

Renee Zellweger: Furor over ‘peaceful’ face is ‘silly’

zellweger

The "Bridget Jones's Diary" star says her "new face" is a result of a massive lifestyle change.

in Entertainment

‘Django Unchained’ actress charged with lewd conduct

danielewatts

Danielle Watts made headlines in September when she went alleged the LAPD detained her because she is black and her boyfriend is white.