Randall Miller and Jody Savin, the filmmakers of "Midnight Rider" that were charged with involuntary manslaughter on camera assistant Sarah Jones' death, entered a not guilty plea. The couple released a statement through their attorney Don Samuel, insisting that Jones' death was "not a crime."
"This devastating loss of Sarah, a young crew member who was just starting out with us, will haunt us forever," the couple said. "Our hearts are broken, our spirits are broken. We have young children and can only imagine with immense sadness the heartbreak of losing a child. We are praying for Sarah's family."
The statement continued, "In the weeks and months that follow when the true facts of the events are revealed, people will know that this was not a crime: we never had criminal intent; we would never knowingly or intentionally put anybody's safety at risk. This was a horrible tragedy and a horrific accident."
The 27-year-old's parents filed a wrongful death suit against the director, producers and other entities affiliated with the film. On Thursday, July 3, prosecutors in Georgia's Wayne County charged Miller the director, his wife Savin who served as producer and Jay Sedrish who served as the unit production manager and executive producer. Under Georgia law, a manslaughter conviction would carry a sentence of 10 years in prison while criminal trespass is a misdemeanor and carries potential sentence of one year.
Miller and Savin said they had remained silent throughout the ordeal "out of respect for the family of Sarah Jones, their loved ones and all of the crew who were injured on that very sad day." Miller and Savin signed off by saying, "We will dedicate ourselves in the future to honoring Sarah's memory by promoting the safest work environment for everybody in the film industry."