James Ray Guilty of Negligent Homicide; Manslaughter Charges Didn't Stick

Categories: Death Lodge
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James Ray was found guilty of negligent homicide. Manslaughter charges didn't stick.
"Spiritual warrior" James Ray was found guilty today of three counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of three people at a 2009 "self-help" retreat near Sedona, during which he guided dozens of people into a poorly ventilated "sweat lodge" and discouraged them from leaving when they felt sick.

Ray could have been convicted of manslaughter.

See more of New Times' coverage of Ray's death lodge fiasco here.


According to court documents obtained by New Times, Ray discouraged participants from leaving the sweat lodge, even as some were throwing up and passing out.

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One of the victims, 49-year-old Liz Neuman of Prior Lake, Minnesota died of multiple-organ failure after the ceremony. The other two victims, 38-year-old Kirby Brown of Westtown, New York, and 40-year-old James Shore of Wisconsin, each fell victim to heat stroke after being in the sweat tent.

Ray maintains that the deaths were a tragic accident, but prosecutors feel that stuffing dozens of people into a hot, poorly ventilated sweat tent -- and then discouraging them from leaving -- is more than just an accident.

Prosecutors argued for manslaughter convictions, but Ray's high-priced attorney, Thomas Kelly, persuaded jurors otherwise and he was found not guilty on those charges.

Ray faces up to 11 years in prison. 
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7 comments
Mtf1984
Mtf1984

I cannot excuse his actions on that day, but as a follower of his teachings, I must object to the slander of the comments on this site about him. He is a very wise man. His books and videos have helped me at various points in my life, in various ways. He may have been wrong, but I have no doubt his intentions to help these people were true. This really sucks. I feel sorry for him.

Suck born every minute
Suck born every minute

I hope he has to spend at least 1 year in his own sweat lodge...

What an arrogant dumb ass for manipulating the the ignorant into thinking that they can achieve holistic spirituality at any level.  I also blame the blind sheep that wanted to be led into a tent  for part of this tragedy. 

demoncat_4
demoncat_4

11 years is not enough for the guy even when the people were showing signs of distress refused to let them leave to get relief from the heat not to mention being found not guilty of manslaghter yet only negligible homicides.when he could have prevented the deaths but choose not to .

Lucania
Lucania

11 years is not nearly enough for leading people to a horrific death for profit!

teknik1200
teknik1200

I hope he gets all 11 of those years.

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