State objects to transfer of sweat lodge case - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

State objects to transfer of sweat lodge case

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Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 2:13 pm

CAMP VERDE — Prosecutors are objecting to a defense motion to have the trial for a motivational speaker charged with three counts of manslaughter moved out of northern Arizona's Yavapai (YAV-uh-pie) County.

Attorneys for James Arthur Ray say the publicity in the case would hurt Ray's ability to receive a fair trial. They want it transferred to the Phoenix area.

Prosecutors say the attorneys claims of prejudice are purely speculative. They say the media coverage has been minimal except for in the first month of the case.

Ray has pleaded not guilty to the charges that stem from a sweat lodge ceremony he led near Sedona last October.

Ray's original trial date was vacated and no new date has been set.

The defense motion likely will be heard at an Aug. 10 hearing.

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