AP Photo/Russ Bynum
AP Photo/Russ Bynum
Instead of putting the finishing touches on his movie, Randall Miller will spend at least a year behind bars.
The director of the proposed Allman Brothers Band biopic Midnight Rider has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing in connection with the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was struck and killed by a freight train on the film's Georgia set in February 2014.
Miller was sentenced to two years in county jail, followed by eight years of probation, and fined $20,000, Deadline reported Monday, noting that the veteran filmmaker's lawyer said his client would probably only spend about a year in jail. He is barred, however, from directing or otherwise participating in the production of a film until his probation ends.
As part of the deal, Miller's wife, producer Jody Savin, is no longer facing similar charges; executive producer Jay Sedrish, meanwhile, accepted 10 years' probation and no jail time.
"We are not now, and never have been, seeking revenge for Sarah's death," Jones parents said in a statement after court today. "We do want those responsible to be held accountable and are satisfied with the terms of the agreement reached between the District Attorney's office and defense attorneys."
Jones' family filed a wrongful death lawsuit last May against Miller, Open Road Films, Gregg Allman, who was serving as an executive producer on the film; CSX Transportation, which owns the railroad tracks where the crash occurred; Rayonier Performance Fibers, which owns the land surrounding the crash site; Miller's production company, Unclaimed Freight Productions; and several of the director's assistants.
Allman, as well as Open Road Films and executive producer Michael Lehman, has since been dropped as a defendant from the suit. The "Revival" rocker, meanwhile, also sued in May to halt production entirely, and star William Hurt left the project after Jones died.