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Director Randall Miller Violated His Probation by Shooting a Film Overseas, Officials Say

Director / writer Randall Miller arrives
Paul A Hebert/Invision/AP/Shutte

Georgia officials have determined that director Randall Miller violated his probation by shooting a movie in Serbia last year, according to the state’s Department of Community Supervision.

Miller is on probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2015 in the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones. Jones was killed in a collision with a freight train while shooting a scene for the film “Midnight Rider” on a bridge near Jesup, Ga., in February 2014.

Miller, the director of the film, served a year in jail. His probation barred him from working as a “director, first assistant director or supervisor with responsibility for safety in any film production” for 10 years.

Miller shot an independent film, “Higher Grounds,” in Serbia, London and Colombia last year. The new project came to the attention of Georgia authorities this week, after news began to circulate among the Georgia filming community.

“After a thorough review of the case and collaboration with our partners in law enforcement, it has been determined that Mr. Miller’s actions result in a violation of his probation,” said Brian Tukes, a spokesman for the Department of Community Supervision, in a statement.

Tukes did not say what the next step would be, but the office can seek a warrant for Miller’s arrest.

The Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office was alerted to the new film by Jones’ family, said Mark Spaulding, a spokesman for the office. The office has asked the DCS to issue an arrest warrant, he said.

Miller’s attorney, Ed Garland, previously told Variety that his understanding was that Miller was allowed to direct a film, so long as someone else was given responsibility for safety. Miller received multiple legal opinions supporting that conclusion, and told Variety that the project was shot with the sign-off of the Directors Guild of America and other industry unions.

Garland did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.