Gregg Allman Biopic Producer Pleads Not Guilty to Manslaughter Charges
The criminal case authorities are pursuing against the producers of the Gregg Allman biopic 'Midnight Rider' proceeded as expected Aug. 18, with executive producer Jay Sedrish entering a not guilty plea to charges of criminal trespassing and manslaughter.
Sedrish's co-defendants, director Randall Miller and Miller’s wife/producer Jody Savin, both pleaded not guilty in July. According to Deadline, Sedrish entered his plea early in the day, waiving his right to an arraignment in the process. The charges the three face stem from a Feb. 20 accident on the 'Midnight Rider' set that ended in the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, one of several crew members caught in the chaos when a train unexpectedly appeared on the tracks where a scene was being filmed.
In addition to criminal charges, the filmmakers also face civil action from Jones' parents, who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sedrish, the Millers, the studios involved, Allman himself (who'd served as an executive producer before attempting to halt production with a lawsuit of his own) and the companies responsible for the railroad, as well as the property where the accident occurred. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also gotten involved, citing the production company Film Allman LLC for safety violations that carry nearly $75,000 in fines.
While the 'Midnight Rider' court cases continue to build, it's the OSHA fines that may need to be dealt with first; ABC News Radio reports that Film Allman has until Aug. 29 to pay up or contest the citation.