2ND UPDATE, THURSDAY 9:57 AM: Midnight Rider executive producer/unit production manager Jay Sedrish turned himself in this morning to the Wayne County, GA police and was booked and released after posting a $27,700 bond. This comes after his fellow filmmakers Randall Miller and Jody Savin turned themselves in earlier this week. All three were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones. They were also charged with criminal trespassing for filming on a train trestle when, according to police, they had no permit to shoot on the tracks.
One of the key points in the case is that Wayne County Sheriff Sgt. Ben Roberston, in his initial report about the incident, wrote: “In my presence, Mr. Sedrish was asked by an employee of CSX if he had permission to be on the trestle or tracks and Mr. Sedrish replied, ‘That’s complicated.’ According to the CSX employee, the production company had previously been denied permission to film on the trestle, and there was electronic correspondence to verify that fact.”
UPDATE, Tuesday, 6:57 AM: As of this morning, Midnight Rider executive producer/unit production manager director Jay Sedrish has not yet turned himself in, but we are told he has another week and that arrangements are being made to meet that timetable. Here are the mugshots of director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savin, who along with Sedrish could face 10 years in prison for the tragic on-set death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.
PREVIOUS, 12:10 AM: Midnight Rider director Randall Miller and producer Jody Savin turned themselves in to police Sunday in Georgia following their July 3 grand jury indictments in the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. The two posted a $27,700 bond and were released, a Wayne County Sheriff’s Department rep confirmed to Deadline. Miller, Savin, and Sedrish were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing by prosecutors in Wayne County following a months-long investigation by local authorities.
Jones was killed outside of Jesup, GA on February 20 when she was struck by a freight train as she and others ran for their lives during the filming of a scene that involved placing a metal hospital bed (that was to have star William Hurt in it) on live train tracks. It was one of the most egregious tragedies on a movie set in recent memory, because they were not permitted to be on the tracks. Several other crew members were also injured in the accident. The film’s crew members were on the CSX railroad-owned tracks of the Doctortown train trestle for the shoot by Unclaimed Freight Productions Inc., the production company owned by Miller and Savin. The tragedy has created an outcry for reforms in productions and safety on movie sets.
Under Georgia law, a manslaughter conviction would carry a sentence of 10 years in prison. Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor and carries potential sentence of one year.