'Midnight Rider' filmmakers plead not guilty, insist Sarah Jones' death was 'not a crime'

By Daniel S Levine,

Midnight Rider director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savin have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the February death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. A third defendant, producer Jay Sedrish, has also turned himself in.

As reported earlier this week, Miller and Sedrish turned themselves into Wayne county, Georgia police on Sunday. Variety reports that Sedrish turned himself in on Thursday. All three were only in prison briefly before posting individual $27,700 cash bonds.

The three have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Savin and Miller have both pleaded not guilty to the charges. They also issued a statement through their attorney, calling Jones’ death a tragedy and an accident.

“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 statement reads. “This was a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident.”

Miller and Savin offered their condolences to Jones’ family and said that they had not spoken publicly about Jones out of respect for the family. They also insisted that crew safety has been important for the two since they began producing together in 1990.

The production is also facing several civil lawsuits, including a wrongful death lawsuit from Jones’ family. The film was supposed to be about Gregg Allman, who would have been played by William Hurt. The Oscar winner was also hurt in the Feb. 20 accident and eventually dropped out of the project.

image courtesy of ACE/INFphoto.com

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