Trial for Gregg Allman filmmakers under way with jury selection

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2015 11:27 AM

By Rich McKay

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of three filmmakers charged with involuntary manslaughter after a deadly train crash on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider" in Georgia, court officials said.

Randall Miller, director of the movie about the rock singer's life, Miller's wife and business partner Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish were indicted on criminal charges in the February 2014 death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27.

The Atlanta woman was killed when a train hit set props and movie equipment staged on a railroad bridge and trestle in rural Wayne County, about 70 miles southwest of Savannah. Several other crew members were injured.

Unclaimed Freight Productions Inc, the production company, did not have permission to film on the tracks, authorities have said.

Miller, Savin and Sedrish charged with involuntary manslaughter and trespassing, and each faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted. They have pleaded not guilty.

A fourth defendant in the case, first assistant director Hillary Schwartz, will be tried separately.

Wayne County Superior Court Judge Anthony Harrison has set aside a week for the trial, his staff said on Monday.

Allman was not named in the criminal case. He was dropped from a civil lawsuit in which Jones' family is seeking unspecified financial damages from the people and movie companies involved in the film project.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Doina Chiacu)