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.

Recent Headlines

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘Frozen’ tops Barbie as top girls’ holiday pick

frozen

The results marked the first time in 11 years that Barbie hasn't held the No. 1 spot in the annual toy survey.

in Black Friday, Viral Videos

Black Friday facts that will make you think twice

22-overlay2

Before you wait in line for doorbuster deals, check out these Black Friday facts.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Friends of the Galaxy’ mashup

24-overlay2

If "Guardians of the Galaxy" was set to the "Friends" theme.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Nov. 28

willienelson

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Music

One Direction makes Billboard history

FILE - This Nov. 26, 2013 file photo shows One Direction members, from left, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan on ABC's "Good Morning America"in New York. A representative for One Direction says the band’s lawyers are dealing with a video showing two band members smoking what the singers referred to as an “illegal substance.” British tabloid The Daily Mail posted a five-minute clip Tuesday, May 27, 2014, of Zayn Malik smoking and speaking with Louis Tomlinson, who is filming.

The British boy band became the only group to score four consecutive No. 1 debuts on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.