Hearing delayed ahead of Ray sentencing

Sept. 20, 2011 at 10:11 AM

PRESCOTT, Ariz., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A pre-sentencing hearing in the Arizona sweat lodge case was delayed Monday after James Arthur Ray's attorney suffered a heart ailment.

Tom Kelly, 58, of Prescott, Ariz., was preparing to present testimony this week to help obtain a lighter sentence for Ray, who was convicted on three counts of negligent homicide, The (Prescott) Daily Courier reported. Kelly suffered a heart ailment during the weekend.

Ray's sentencing had been scheduled for Sept. 26. Judge Warren Darrow said he would hold a hearing by telephone Tuesday to reschedule the proceedings.

Three people died after attending a sweat lodge ceremony near Sedona in 2009. Ray, a motivational speaker who led the ceremony, was convicted for failing to do more to protect the victims from the heat at the Spiritual Warrior seminar held at the Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat Center. He could receive a possible nine-year prison term.

Friends, family and former associates were prepared to testify this week Ray should receive probation, the newspaper said.

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