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New trial sought in sweat lodge deaths

Aug. 16, 2011 at 10:06 AM   |   Comments

SEDONA, Ariz., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Attorneys for a self-help guru convicted in three deaths in an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony say he deserves a new trial because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Lawyers for James Arthur Ray, found guilty of negligent homicide in the deaths of the participants, argue the prosecution did not disclose evidence in a timely fashion, CNN reported Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Ray's recklessness in conducting the October 2009 sweat lodge ceremony in Sedona caused the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y.; James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, and Lizbeth Marie Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn.

At least 15 others who participated in the ritual became ill, prosecutors said, arguing the sweat lodge was heated to a dangerously high temperature that led to the participants suffering dehydration and heatstroke.

Ray's sentencing, originally scheduled for July 25, has been pushed back pending the latest legal moves.

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