Director Randall Miller’s Probation Hearing Delayed Again07/17/2020
A Georgia judge has again delayed a hearing on whether director Randall Miller violated his probation by shooting a film in Serbia, as attorneys seek to negotiate a deal on the issue.
Miller was set to appear before Judge Anthony L. Harrison on July 22. But on Thursday, the judge agreed to postpone the hearing so that Miller’s attorneys could work out an agreement with local prosecutors.
The director pleaded guilty in March 2015 to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal 2014 train crash on the set of his film “Midnight Rider.” Under the agreement, Miller served a year in jail and agreed not to work as a “director, first assistant director or supervisor with responsibility for safety in any film production” for a period of 10 years.
But last summer, Miller directed a new film, “Higher Grounds,” in Serbia, with some location shooting in the United Kingdom and Colombia. The film is now in post-production.
Word of the project began to circulate among the Georgia film community this spring. Following an outcry, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision determined that Miller had violated his probation. A hearing was initially set for June 17, and then postponed to July 22.
Miller’s attorneys interpreted his probation term to allow him to direct a film, so long as someone else was responsible for safety. The first assistant director of “Higher Grounds” was designated as the person in charge of safety.
But in a three-page order on July 10, Harrison clarified that Miller was forbidden from directing a film under any circumstances for the duration of his probation.
“When it imposed this special condition on Miller’s sentence, it was the Court’s intent that Miller be expressly prohibited from serving in any of the roles delineated — director, first assistant director, or any supervisor with responsibility for employee safety,” the judge wrote.
In light of the judge’s order, Miller’s attorney asked the court to postpone the July 22 hearing in order to allow for negotiations with prosecutors.
“Once we reach a resolution to this matter with the State, we present the same to the Court for approval,” wrote the attorney, Tracy Alan Brown.
Harrison agreed to take the matter off the court’s calendar pending an agreement between the parties.
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