Fourth Filmmaker of "Midnight Rider" Turns Herself In, Pleads Not Guilty Over Fatal Georgia Train Accident
|Emery Dennel |||Oct 01, 2014 02:23 AM EDT|
Hillary Schwartz, the assistant director of "Midnight Rider", a flick based on the life of singer Gregg Allman, has turned herself in to face charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing. She pled not guilty on Tuesday.
Schwartz is the fourth filmmaker involved with the project who has been charged.
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The charges stem from a fatal incident wherein 27-year old camera assistant died and eight other crew members got injured after a train tore through their set while the team was installing equipment on the train tracks near Savannah, Georgia. The accident occured in February 20 of this year.
Unclaimed Freight Productions, Inc, the team's film company, was not authorized to shoot at the said location.
Director Randall Miller and his wife, producer Jody Savin, were also indicted on similar charges last July. The couple also pleaded not guilty.
Jay Sedrish, the executive producer of the film, was also indicted and also consequently pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Schwartz was indicted in September. Prosecutors did not say why she had not been charged at the same time her colleagues were.
Prosecutors have states that if the defendants are found guilty, they may face up to 11 years in prison.
Aside from the said criminal charges, the family of Jones also brought a civil wrongful death lawsuit against those managing the project. Federal safety officials also brought to light the company's negligence when it came to exposing its crew to grave danger.
Prosecutors shared that a preliminary criminal trial date for the four filmmakers has been scheduled for March next year.
The song "Midnight Rider", written by Gregg Allman and Robert Kim Payne, was made popular by The Allman Brothers Band in the 1970's.
The autobiographical movie of the same name is based on Allman's book, "My Cross To Bear", and is currently on hold.
Original cast of the flick included William Hurt, Tyson Ritter, Zoey Deutch, Eliza Dushku and Wyatt Russell. Hurt officially backed out of the project in April 23, 2014 after the fatal train incident.
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