James Arthur Ray Trial Date Set in Yavapai County; Public Won't See Autopsy Photos

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"Spiritual warrior" James Arthur Ray
"Spiritual warrior" James Arthur Ray will get his day in court, but autopsy photos of his alleged victims will not be released to the public, a Yavapai County Superior Court judge ruled this morning.

Judge Warren Darrow set a trial date of August 31, for Ray and ruled in favor of the prosecution on the issue of the autopsy pictures.

Prosecutors and the victims families had argued to have the photos withheld and asked that only the first and last pages of the autopsy report be released to the public. Judge Darrow agreed and issued his ruling at a court hearing this morning, the Associated Press reports.

Ray is charged with three counts of manslaughter for the October deaths of three people near Sedona.

Ray, a "self-help" guru, is believed to have "helped" a few people meet their demise during a bizarre sweat-lodge ceremony as part of his "Spiritual Warrior" motivational retreat.

During the ceremony, participants were filed into a makeshift tent with poor ventilation, where Ray and other organizers placed hot, steaming rocks in the center of the room.

If loading dozens of people into a poorly ventilated tent and throwing steaming rocks into the mix sounds like a stupid idea to you, you're right -- people began vomiting, passing out, and losing consciousness.

At the end of the day, three people were dead and dozens injured, while Ray skipped town and headed back to his multi-million dollar Beverly Hills mansion.

If convicted, Ray faces a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 12 for each manslaughter charge.


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6 comments
SarahStevens
SarahStevens

As of today it has been revealed that the prosecution violated a very big law by hiding information that would implicate Angel Valley! Yes, it seems there is more going on with Angel Valley than the prosecution wants the world to know. I mean, building a sweat lodge then covering it with rubber and sealing it until it is almost airtight. That is just plain crazy!

PatriciaHarding
PatriciaHarding

I found this on a Native American site: "I know a medicine man who says the whole Sedona sweat lodge disaster was orchestrated by Native American shaman spirits who are angry at the white man. Now that they have given three human sacrifices to the spirit that whole area is more haunted than it has ever been. He says all the relatives have to do to prove this truth is to pitch a tent on the sites where their loved ones fasted for 36 hours. If they fast for about 24 hours on the same site alone and only using their cell phones in the event of an emergency, they will find that the area is indeed haunted and if they ask properly the Native American spirits will reveal that they did indeed kill the three people at the Sedona event. He says that anyone who wants to conduct this test must take fully responsibility for whatever may happen as a result. It is not safe. They may indeed die of fright because those Native American shaman spirits hate white people and with good reason!

He also says any medicine man worth his salt will casually tell you that anyone who stays in a sweat lodge longer than he knows he should in order to impress others with how tough he is has no one else but himself to blame for whatever may happen as a result. What can I say? I agree!"

Sandra
Sandra

“You have to understand the situation before you blindly judge it. If YOU went to that workshop, with any one of the three people who eventually died, and lasted till half-way though the last round of the sweat lodge you would have said something like, 'That's it for me, I've got to get out. Are you doing okay?' And they would have said, 'Yes”. Then you would have asked, 'Are you sure you're okay and want to stay?' and they would have said, 'Yes!'” Everyone around them was convinced they were okay. (((EVERYONE))). If ANYONE for one moment was certain these people were actually dying they would have started screaming (((SHE'S DYING!!!))) No one ever did. That's why James Arthur Ray wasn't concerned. He trusted that the people were responsible enough to get out when they had had enough. There is no crime in this! IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, as he said all along, and the coroners agree with him. All three deaths were officially categorized as “accidents”. Look it up if you don't believe me!

All those who initially were certain the deaths were not accidental were DEAD WRONG!!!!

http://www.google.com/search?i...

DanMiallan
DanMiallan

Is there any substance to the rumor I heard that Angel Valley paid a very large sum of money in order to bribe the investigators to elevate the investigation from an accidental death to a homicide so that the attention would be shifted off of the sweat lodge and onto James Arthur Ray? The investigators deliberately left exhibit A at the crime scene knowing full well that Angel Valley would completely destroy the evidence. One of the people who was paid off supposedly got guilty drunk one night and confessed to some friends who in turn spoke to others. They made certain Mr Ray could not get an independent autopsy performed on the three bodies. They actually died from a strange combination of toxins from the melting vinyl tarps of the sweat lodge and the scrap construction wood used to heat the Grandfather Stones. It's some weird combination of chemicals that apparently made especially sensitive participants feel they were fine when they were actually dying. Supposedly, Angel Valley made Mr Ray the 'fall guy' and threw him to the wolves in order to save themselves. I think it was one of the coroners who got drunk and spilled the beans. Have any of you heard this rumor?

George
George

It just seems so cut and dry simple. I can't believe people can be so dumb that they cannot see it.

The defense attorney asks the jury: Would you go into a hot sweat lodge if you felt you could not handle it? No, right? Would you, your honor? No, right? Would it matter if everyone else was going in and not suffering any adverse reactions? No, it wouldn't matter at all. Even if your own mother was encouraging you to go in you wouldn't go if you felt you could not handle it, right? Of course not...unless you were trying to prove how tough you were. If you were trying to prove how tough you were and went into a hot sweat lodge over and over and over, ignoring your body screaming that it was actually dying, you would have no one to blame but yourself for whatever would happen as a result. ESPECIALLY, after you signed a liability waiver stating that you promised to take full responsibility for taking part in the scheduled activities of the workshop.

You must remember that MOST OF THE PEOPLE who participated in the sweat lodge workshop DID NOT suffer adverse reactions to the event. What does that say about those who did suffer adversely? Well, it obviously says they should not have gone back in after the breaks between each 10-15 minute round. They have no one to blame but themselves for going back into the sweat lodge when they knew they could not handle it, period!

These are responsible adults we are speaking of who REALLY wanted to be at that workshop to the point of spending over $9,000.00 in order to attend. It was THEIR responsibility to research into what they could expect at that workshop and judge whether or not they could handle it. It was NOT James Arthur Ray's responsibility to know what each person could or could not physically handle. YOU know your body better than anyone else. It is YOUR responsibility to protect your life, not anyone else's

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