Sweat-lodge guru pleads not guilty in deaths - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Sweat-lodge guru pleads not guilty in deaths

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Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2010 9:11 am | Updated: 3:42 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

CAMP VERDE — Motivational speaker James Arthur Ray has pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter at his first court appearance since being charged with causing three deaths at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he led last year.

Ray was indicted and arrested on Wednesday for the deaths at an Oct. 8 ceremony intended to be the highlight of his five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event. The ceremony was held at a retreat center he rented near Sedona.

In court on Thursday, Ray's lawyer entered the plea on his behalf.

Ray is being held in the Yavapai County jail on $5 million bond and faces a minimum of three years and a maximum of 12 1/2 years on each count.

Ray's attorneys call the charges unjust and say they're confident he will be exonerated.

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