A movie director jailed in southeast Georgia won his release Wednesday after serving a year behind bars for the death of a crew member killed by a train during filming of a movie about singer Gregg Allman.
A Superior Court judge ordered former “Midnight Rider” director Randall Miller to be set free after a hearing at which prosecutors agreed Miller’s good behavior had earned him early release halfway through a two-year sentence.
“He was still in shackles when I last saw him, but he was very glad the sentence was behind him,” Don Samuel, one of Miller’s defense attorneys, said by phone after leaving the courthouse in rural Wayne County.
Miller began serving time March 9, 2015, after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones.
Miller had just begun making a biographical movie about the Allman Brothers Band singer on Feb. 20, 2014, when a freight train plowed into his crew during filming on a railroad bridge spanning the Altamaha River about 70 miles southwest of Savannah.
The train ran over Jones, killing her, and injured six other film workers. Investigators found evidence that CSX Transportation, which owned the train trestle, had denied permission in writing to Miller’s crew when asked if it could shoot on the tracks.
Jones’ parents told Superior Court Judge Anthony Harrison they opposed any early release for Miller. Her father, Richard Jones, said his chief concern wasn’t about punishing Miller but rather sending a strong message to Hollywood to improve safety conditions on film sets.
Miller will spend the next nine years on probation, and during that time he is legally prohibited from directing any films.
Lollapalooza celebrates 25 years
Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and LCD Soundsystem are among the acts that will play in Chicago for the 25th anniversary of the Lollapalooza music festival.
The lineup was released early Wednesday on Lollapalooza’s website. It also includes Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell’s band Jane’s Addiction.
The festival will start July 28 and run through July 31. There will be more than 170 musical performances.
Farrell started Lollapalooza in 1991, which was a tour until 1997. It was on hiatus from 1998 to 2003, and the 2004 event was canceled because of poor ticket sales. In 2005, it found a home in Chicago’s Grant Park.
The birthday bunch
Singer Nick Lowe is 67. Comedian Louie Anderson is 63. Actor Robert Carradine is 62. Actress Donna Pescow is 62. TV personality Star Jones is 54. Singer-violinist Sharon Corr (The Corrs) is 46. Actor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) is 43. Actress Alyson Hannigan is 42. Actress Jessica Chastain is 39. Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes (“Whale Rider”) is 26.
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