A prosecutor in the “Midnight Rider” case opposes director Randall Miller’s effort to modify his sentence and obtain an early release from jail, saying that such a move “further evidences” Miller’s “failure to accept responsibility in the death of Sarah Jones.”
John A. Johnson, the Wayne County, Ga. special assistant district attorney who reached a plea bargain with Miller in March, filed a response on Thursday in Wayne County District Court, in which he also wrote that Miller’s effort to get out now also shows “his arrogance in expecting that this court should vitiate its sentence because his friends miss him and he wants to get out of jail.”
Miller’s attorney Ed Garland filed a motion to modify his sentence last month, in which he argued that the director had shown model behavior but also was experiencing deteriorating health. Judge Anthony Harrison has yet to rule on the motion.
Miller plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in March, following the Feb. 20, 2014 Georgia train accident on the set of “Midnight Rider” that killed camera assistant Sarah Jones and injured eight others. He was sentenced to two years in Wayne County jail and eight years probation as part of a plea bargain. As part of that agreement, charges were dropped against his wife, Jody Savin.
“After having received the benefit of a negotiated sentence in a criminal case in which he faced up to 10 years in prison, Miller now seeks to proverbially ‘have his cake and eat it too,'” Johnson wrote. “To make the matter worse, he files this motion just prior to the Christmas holiday, a particularly sensitive time of the year for the family who suffered the tragic loss of Sarah Jones as a result of his conduct.”
Jones’ father, Richard, already has written to the court, opposing his early release.
At the time he was sentenced, Garland said that he expected that Miller could be released after one year, given the discretion of the sheriff to release inmates for good behavior. This motion, however, was for his release sooner than that point.
News of the prosecutor’s opposition was first reported by Deadline.