BREAKING: The District Attorney in Wayne County filed a motion today against Miller’s request to get out of jail early, stating that his request provides further evidence that the Midnight Rider filmmaker has failed to accept responsibility in the death of 27 year-0ld camera assistant Sarah Jones and shows “his arrogance in expecting that this Court should vitiate its sentence because his friends miss him and he wants to get out …” (Read it here).
In filing the motion today, the D.A.’s office outlined nine points in their argument to have Miller’s request denied, saying that Miller made an agreement (a plea bargin) with the court and received the benefit of a negotiated sentence to serve two years instead of 10 years in exchange for his wife, Midnight Rider producer Jody Savin, to be spared from the criminal case. The also allowed him first offender treatment.
“Miller now seeks to proverbially ‘have his cake and eat it too.’ To make the matter worse, he files his motion just prior to the Christmas holiday, a particularly sensitive time of year for the family who suffered the tragic loss of Sarah Jones as a result of his conduct.”
The D.A. submitted parents Richard and Elizabeth Jones’ letter to the Judge as Exhibit A which asks Judge Harrison to stick to the full two years. However, the D.A. told Deadline yesterday that he would not object to Miller getting out on March 9, 2016. Sarah Jones’ parents and family were under the impression that Miller would serve the full two years.
Apparently, some kind of deal was talked about in the hallway outside the court between the D.A., the Assistant, D.A. and Miller’s lawyers. After which, Sheriff John Carter was brought in and asked if Miller could serve two years in his jail. Carter agreed.
Although, Miller’s attorneys said they thought the Sheriff was part of that conversation and in their motion to ask for early release said the Sheriff had agreed to a 2-for-1 computation in the hallway, Carter said that was not the case. The Assistant D.A. also said that Carter was not part of that conversation, however, that the jail policy is for all inmates to get out if they can show good behavior after a year.
Garland said that’s why they choose jail instead of a state penitentiary. It says nothing of a 2-for-1 computation of Miller’s sentence in his sentencing memo, but does mention computation: “Defendant shall serve 2 years in custody at the Wayne County Detention Center with time to be computed by the Sheriff.”
It is up to Sheriff Carter on whether to actually give Miller a 2-for-1 computation of his two-year sentence and the Sheriff told Deadline that he has not yet decided on what to do on the Miller case. That surprised Miller’s attorneys and has caused consternation. They told Deadline that if the Sheriff does not give a 2-to-1 computation of the sentence, they would fight the Sheriff’s decision. The Sheriff’s policy in the past has applied to misdemeanor cases and this is a felony involuntary manslaughter, so it is a little different.
In the motion filed today, the D.A. repeated what Judge Harrison stated in the March, 2015 sentencing of Miller: “I hope that this day will in some way contribute to your goal of sending a message to the film industry regarding safety and responsibility and thereby giving some meaning to this tragedy.” The D.A. said that because Miller asked for a modified sentence, he clearly has not accepted full responsibility for his actions.
“The Defendant seeks to take advantage of the State’s performance of its responsibilities under the ‘contract’ (the state made with Miller) and not comply with his responsibilities. The State suggests this Motion further evidences the Defendant’s failure to accept responsibility.”
Miller filed the motion on November 25th, seeking early release saying he had poor health and submitting doctor letters to the Court. One was from his wife’s father who is a dermatologist in CT and the other from a neighbor who is a retired doctor. Under terms of Miller’s sentence, he was to serve two years in jail and eight years probation and pay $25,100 in fines which his attorneys said have been paid.
In addition, Miller’s attorneys filed a motion asking that a petition signed by over 5,200 people opposing the filmmaker’s early release be barred from the court record. The D.A. said they would file a motion to oppose that as well, but that has yet to be filed with the Court.