Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gregg Allman biopic producer pleads not guilty to manslaughter charges

Jay Sedrish, the executive producer/unit production manager of the ill-fated Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider”, waived his right for an arraignment on Monday and entered a not guilty plea to criminal trespassing and involuntary manslaughter in the on-set death of 27-year-old assistant camera assistant Sarah Jones.

Seven other crew members were injured in the incident, which took place on the first day of filming in February, and is reported to have taken place while filming a dream sequence that involved a bed being placed on railway tracks.

Production on the film was shut down following the tragic incident, and has yet to resume.

Last month, Sedrish, co-producer Jody Savin and director Randall Miller were indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges in the February incident.

Deadline reports Sedrich’s plea follows similar not guilty pleas entered by Miller and Savin last month.

Sedrish’s court appearance comes a week after the U.S. Department of Labor cited the production for one willful and one serious safety violation.

“It is unacceptable that Film Allman LLC knowingly exposed their crew to moving trains while filming on a live track and railroad trestle,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels, and that “employers are responsible for taking the necessary precautions to protect workers’ health and safety, and the entertainment industry is no exception.”

Based on Gregg Allman’s 2012 biography “My Cross To Bear”, “Midnight Rider” tells the story of Gregg's journey from struggling artist through the formation and subsequent success of The Allman Brothers Band, which saw the musician succumb to the excesses of rock 'n' roll.

Lead actor William Hurt – who was to play the present day version of the rock legend – backed out of the project. The film was also scheduled to star Tyson Ritter - the lead singer/songwriter of the All American Rejects – as a young Gregg, and Wyatt Russell as his brother Duane.

See also:

Gregg Allman biopic producers charged with manslaughter in crew death
Gregg Allman cancels solo tour after being hospitalized
Allman Brothers expand At Fillmore East into new box set
Allman Brothers Band announce final live shows
Search The Allman Brothers at hennemusic