Just as the trial for the case of Sarah Jones’ on-set death was scheduled to begin, director Randall Miller reversed his not guilty plea to guilty in the case of involuntary manslaughter, Variety reports.
Miller was sentenced to two years in custody, a $25,000 fine and has agreed not to direct during his probation period. He was also sentenced to 360 hours of community service.
John Johnson, special prosecutor in the case, said that numerous safety measures were not followed, which led to the tragic death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones.
“Miller knew that it was a live track and there was a possibility of other trains,” said Johnson.
Along with producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish, Miller was charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass. Initially, they all plead not guilty. As part of the overall plea agreement, charges were dismissed against Savin, Miller’s wife and the film’s producer.
Sedrish entered an Alford plea, which the judge accepted. He was given a sentence of ten years probation and a $10,000 fine, with no jail time, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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“There’s nothing the court could do, Ms. Johnson or the DA’s office could do to really bring you justice in this case. This was clearly a tragic accident that caused the death of your daughter and sister and granddaughter,” Jackie Johnson, district attorney for the Brunswick judicial circuit, told Jones’ family, per The Hollywood Reporter.
In a victim impact statement, Sarah Jones’ father, Richard Jones, said: “I do not seek revenge, but rather I seek healing for all involved, including those responsible for my daughter’s death.”
Jones was killed and eight other workers were injured while trying to escape an oncoming freight train during the filming of a scene on the tracks of a train trestle in Georgia on Feb. 20, 2014 for the biopic based on the life of musician Gregg Allman. The accident, which spawned a series of debates over the unspoken dangers crew members face, also led to actor William Hurt’s departure from the project.
Last summer, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the production company behind the film or safety violations.