UPDATED WITH NEW INFO: A trial date of March 9, 2015 has been set in the manslaughter and criminal trespass case of the four filmmakers indicted in the on-set death of 27-year-old Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones. Pre-trial motions will be heard for two days prior, on February 12-13, and jury selection will start a month later on March 9. The order was issued early this morning by Judge Anthony Harrison in the Wayne County (GA) Superior Court during a special status conference hearing. All discovery must be entered into the court by December 10, 2014.
Meanwhile, newly indicted first assistant director Hillary Schwartz appeared in the Wayne County Superior Court Tuesday during the status conference attended by all lawyers from those indicted in this case. The court issued orders about further discovery, motions, whether cameras would be allowed in the courtroom (they will be via Rule 22 with five days notice), and other procedural issues. Schwartz attended the court hearing with her mother by her side. After court, she and her lawyer went to the adjacent Wayne County Jail Detention Center where she turned herself in.
Schwartz was booked for criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter in Feb. 20th on-set death of Jones. Several other crew members were injured as well, both physically and mentally.
Schwartz was charged with the same two counts that the film’s director Randall Miller, his wife/producer Jody Savin and unit production manager/exec producer Jay Sedrish were charged with: criminal trespassing (a misdemeanor), which carries one-year sentence, and a manslaughter conviction that allows a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Jones was killed on set when the crew ventured out on a Doctortown train trestle without a location permit and placed a metal bed on the live tracks to film a dream sequence with star William Hurt. A train appeared and the crew had to bolt from the set, running single file down the side plank of the bridge when the train struck the bed, sending shrapnel into crew members.
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