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 National

Army refers Bergdahl case to commander, punishment possible

Fresh
This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. U.S. officials say the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is in U.S. custody. The officials say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's (boh BURG'-dahl) release was part of a negotiation that includes the release of five Afghan detainees held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

An investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's 2009 disappearance from his base in Afghanistan has been completed.

in Music

PHOTOS: Joe Cocker through the years

AP02072004165_46

A look back on the legendary career of the "Up Where We Belong" hitmaker.

in Music

Legendary rocker Joe Cocker dead at 70

Updated
cocker

The raspy-voiced, Grammy-winning "You Are So Beautiful" singer has lost his battle with lung cancer.