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Gregg Allman film director gets early release from Georgia jail

After serving a year in jail, film director Randall Miller has been released.

Miller was serving a two-year sentence in the Wayne County jail for the 2014 death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones.

Jones was killed by a train during the filming of “Midnight Rider,” a movie about Gregg Allman.

In March 2015, Miller entered a plea deal that spared him from a possible 11-year prison sentence if he had been convicted by a jury. As part of the deal, prosecutors agreed to drop criminal charges against the director's wife and business partner, Jody Savin.

According to the Associated Press, a Superior Court judge ordered Miller to be released Wednesday after a hearing at which prosecutors agreed Miller's good behavior earned him early release halfway through his sentence.

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The filming of “Midnight Rider” had just started in February 2014 when the tragic accident occurred. A freight train barreling over a railroad bridge about 70 miles southwest of Savannah ran over Jones and killed her. Six other film workers were injured.

An investigation determined that CSX Transportation, which owned the train trestle, had denied Miller permission to shoot on the tracks.

While the plea deal stipulated that Miller could be released early for good behavior after serving a year of his sentence, Jones’ parents opposed the move .

According to the AP, Sarah’s father, Richard Jones, said he wanted to send a strong message to Hollywood to improve safety on film sets.

"The message we did not want to send is that because you may be a movie director, you may be getting off lightly," Richard Jones said. "Sarah's dead for heaven sakes. These were just blatant decisions that put these people in danger unnecessarily."

Miller will spend the next nine years on probation, a period during which he is legally prohibited from directing any films.

About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.

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