A day after surrendering to police in Georgia, “Midnight Rider” producer Jody Savin and director Randall Miller, who are charged with manslaughter in the case of camera assistant Sarah Jones‘ death, have released a statement through their lawyers.
“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,” their attorneys’ statement read.
“We have been in the television and movie business since 1990,” they added. “We have produced and directed more than 10 features and television movies. We have always emphasized the safety of the crew. In all those years we have never had a significant injury or accident of any kind. We believe in protecting our crew — the crew who work so hard on our movies. We consider them to be family. Many of them have worked with us on several of our films. All of our movies have been union films. No crew member has ever left one of our movies over a concern about safety. As members of the WGA, the DGA, SAG, the Television Academy and the IATSE, we believe in living up to the aspirations of those organizations.”
Miller and Savin turned themselves in to Wayne County, Ga. authorities Tuesday and have since pleaded not guilty to the charges. Executive producer Jay Sedrish was also charged and turned himself into Wayne County, Ga. authorities Thursday. He was booked and released on bail.
The charges stem from an on-set accident last February when Jones, 27, was struck and killed by an oncoming train during the film’s production. Other crew members were also struck and injured, though no others died.
As TheWrap previously reported, the crash occurred when the production placed a hospital bed on a railroad trestle bridge while filming in Georgia on the Gregg Allman biopic.
The criminal charges followed a wrongful death lawsuit Jones’ family filed against the producers, as well as Allman, in May. Makeup artist Antonyia Vera filed a personal injury lawsuit June.