Friday, October 3, 2014

Another Not Guilty Plea In Gregg Allman Movie Accident

A filmmaker pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges stemming from a deadly train wreck in southeast Georgia on the set of a movie about rock singer Gregg Allman, prosecutors said.

Hillary Schwartz, first assistant director of "Midnight Rider," is the fourth person associated with the film to face charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in connection with the February incident.

An attorney representing Schwartz could not immediately be reached for comment.

Camera assistant Sarah Elizabeth Jones, 27, was killed and eight other crew members were injured when a train tore through the set while they installed film equipment on train tracks and a trestle bridge near Savannah.

Authorities have said the film company, Unclaimed Freight Productions Inc, did not have permission to film on an active train track.

Director Randall Miller and his wife, producer Jody Savin, were indicted on charges identical to Schwartz's in July and pleaded not guilty later that month. Executive producer Jay Sedrish, also indicted in July, pleaded not guilty a month later, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Schwartz was indicted earlier this month, according to Deadline Hollywood. Prosecutors declined to say why Schwartz was not charged at the same time as her co-defendants.

Each faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors have said.

In addition to the criminal charges, Jones' family has brought a civil wrongful death suit against the filmmakers. Federal safety officials have also cited the film's production company for exposing its workers to grave risk.

A preliminary criminal trial date for the four defendants has been set for March, prosecutors said.