Self-Help Guru Gets Two Years in Sweat Lodge Deaths

By: AP
By: AP

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- A self-help author convicted of negligent
homicide has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to
pay restitution of more than $57,000.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow handed down
three two-year sentences on Friday in a central Arizona courtroom.
The sentences will be served concurrently.

Ray's motivational mantra drew dozens of people to Sedona in
October 2009 where they participated in a sweat lodge ceremony meant to purify their bodies.

The participants began showing signs of distress about halfway through the two-hour ceremony, and three died.

Ray insisted the deaths were a tragic accident. But a jury found him guilty on three counts of negligent homicide, rejecting the more serious charges of manslaughter.

Ray's potential sentence had ranged from probation to nine years
in prison.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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