Victims may have endangered themselves by seeking Ray's approval

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by Associated Press

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on March 9, 2011 at 6:05 PM

CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) - Jurors now have heard the complete briefing that a self-help author gave to dozens of people before they entered a northern Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he conducted.

Prosecutors have played snippets of a recording of James Arthur Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event during his manslaughter trial. Defense attorneys had contended that it's been presented out of context.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk played the entire 45-minutepre-sweat lodge briefing Wednesday during testimony from Dennis Mehravar. Ray tells participants how to enter the small heated structure and that they could leave between rounds if necessary.

Three people died following the October 2009 ceremony. Ray has pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter.

Prosecutors say Ray recklessly caused the deaths. Ray's attorneys say the deaths were a tragic accident.

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

 

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