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Director of ‘Midnight Rider’ movie pleads guilty in railroad bridge death of crew member

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“She was really just an easygoing (person), loved to have fun and really enjoyed what she did kind of person,” her friend Eric Henson said. He and Jones were on a set in New Orleans when this photo was taken. (Photo courtesy of Eric Henson via CNN)

(CNN) — The director of “Midnight Rider” has pleaded guilty to charges related to the 2014 death of a crew member while filming.

Randall Miller pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass Monday morning in Wayne County (Georgia) Superior Court, Deputy Clerk of Courts Betty Taylor told CNN.

As part of the plea deal Miller will spend two years behind bars, then serve eight years on probation. The deal prohibits him from directing films, or being in any supervisory position in movies that would make him responsible for the safety of others, for a period of 10 years.

A freight train hit members of the crew of the Gregg Allman biopic while they were working on a railroad bridge in February 2014. Camera assistant Sarah Elizabeth Jones, 27, was killed.

The production had applied to the railroad for permission to film on the bridge but was denied, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Several other crew members were injured in the incident, CNN affiliate WTOC reported.

Jones was mourned throughout the film community. Friends set up a Facebook group, Slates for Sarah, and her death was noted in the Academy Awards’ “In Memoriam” montage.

Two additional members of the production staff faced charges related to the incident. As part of the plea agreement with Miller, charges were dropped against Jody Savin, Miller’s wife and business partner, Taylor said.

Jay Sedrish, the film’s executive producer, also entered a plea on charges and received 10 years on probation. As part of his plea, he will also be banned from supervisory positions in film for 10 years.

Miller and Savin are listed as owners of Unclaimed Fright Productions Inc., the film’s production company, according to the indictment.

 

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