Midnight Rider director Randall Miller, serving a sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 on-set death of 27-year-old crew member Sarah Jones, was denied having his supervision removed by the judge overseeing the case since its beginning.
In his decision, dated today, Judge Anthony Harrison stated that to lift the supervision would be contrary to the intended sentence of the court. Miller’s attorneys argued that it prevented him from extensive travel and has kept him from working. However, today the judge upheld the original sentence, writing: “For Miller’s sentence to continue to have the meaning both Sarah’s family and the Court intended it have, Miller’s probation must remain supervised.” (Read the ruling here.)
Miller’s attorneys argued that California law differs from Georgia law, so in California Miller is being treated as a parolee and not a probationer. And in that case, his attorneys argued the restrictions “frustrate the intent of the parties.”
Specifically, Miller argued that the restrictions leave him unemployed and unemployable in the movie industry: “He needs to travel extensively in order to promote his projects and to raise money for new ventures. He needs to travel extensively in order to participate in the production of movies. But under the conditions of his ‘parole’ in California, he can[not] stray more than 50 miles from his house and must return home to meet with his parole officer on short notice and cannot travel any further than 50 miles without prior approval, which is never granted for periods of time longer than two weeks.”
Miller’s attorneys and Sarah Jones’ parents Richard and Elizabeth Jones faced each other in a Jesup, GA court on February 21, four years and a day after the death of their daughter, to argue whether Miller should remain under supervision as part of his previously imposed sentence.
“Four years ago what Mr. Miller did that caused the death of my daughter was egregious and inexcusable,” Richard Jones argued, telling the court that allowing Miller to be released from supervision, and returning to his previous lifestyle of traveling the world, would lighten the message to the industry that this kind of behavior will have consequences.
Today, the judge agreed with that sentiment.
Miller pleaded guilty on March 9, 2016 to criminal trespass and felony involuntary manslaughter in Jones’ death. He was to serve out his sentence in the Wayne County, GA jail for two years with eight years of supervised probation.