Director for “Midnight Rider” Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Trespassing
Last year, the cast and crew of “Midnight Rider” were trespassing on a railroad to film the opening scenes of the movie, when a freight train plowed through the set at 55 mph and killed one intern working on the project. Director Randall Miller, his wife Jody Savin, and co-producer Jay Sedrish faced criminal charges, as well as a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.
Regarding the criminal charges, Miller pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing. His wife’s criminal charges have been dropped. Miller will spend two years in county jail, and another eight months on probation. He will also pay a $20,000 fine.
According to Georgia state criminal law, a person can automatically be convicted on manslaughter charges if they commit a misdemeanor charge – like the “Midnight Rider’s” film crew – if the misdemeanor kills a person during the execution of the crime. According to CSX Transportation, the company that owned the bridge where the train accident occurred, the company twice denied the film crew permission to film at the south Georgia location, so it was clear that the film crew committed criminal trespassing.
Seven other crew members were also injured in the crash. Only 27-year-old victim Sarah Jones died in the train accident.
Sedrish was not part of the plea deal, and it is unclear how the criminal charges will affect him. He faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.
Miller and Savin were part of a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court that was filed by the victim’s parents. The lawsuit settled out of court for an undisclosed amount last year.
Train Accidents Can Lead to Criminal Charges
Walking along train tracks can not only lead to a serious accident or death, but criminal charges including trespassing, manslaughter, or homicide.
Homicide or manslaughter charges in South Carolina and Georgia can be very serious. You can face life in prison or the death penalty if you are shown to have homicidal or aggressive intent. At the very least, manslaughter or reckless endangerment can land you in jail for years, with steep court fines. Car accidents, DUI, or self-defense can all lead to charges of manslaughter, reckless endangerment, or other criminal charges that could ruin your reputation and hurt your future job opportunities.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Criminal Charges Including Manslaughter or Homicide
If you face criminal charges, including manslaughter, homicide, reckless endangerment, or criminal charges related to a car accident, you could feel frightened or alone. However, evidence during the criminal trial is very important to maintain your innocence, and help reduce your charges. Criminal defense during a trial for criminal charges can make the difference for your future. The Strom Law Firm defends against criminal charges in South Carolina and Georgia. We also offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800