Self-help author to be sentenced in Sedona sweat lodge deaths

James Arthur Ray

An Arizona judge on Friday is scheduled to sentence James Arthur Ray, a bestselling author and self-help guru, in the deaths of three clients overcome by heat during a sweat lodge ceremony.

In June, a jury convicted Ray of three counts of negligent homicide but acquitted him of the more serious charge of manslaughter.

Ray expressed remorse in a pre-sentencing hearing on Thursday, as he waived his right to a restitution hearing and agreed to pay more than $57,000 to the families to reimburse them for costs associated with the trial, according to the Associated Press.

“I'm sorry, I'm sorry,” he said. “I don't believe any amount of money can compensate the families for their loss.”

He asked for forgiveness in a letter submitted to the judge shortly afterward, saying he regrets that “all my efforts to help people's lives has caused them so much pain.”

The jury found that Ray was criminally negligent in subjecting Kirby Brown, Liz Neuman and James Shore to life-threatening conditions at a five-day “Spiritual Warrior” session in 2009 that was intended to help participants overcome adversity to reach their full potential.


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-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: Self-help author James Arthur Ray wipes away tears as one of his attorneys discusses the cancer diagnosis of Ray's mother and his other extenuating circumstances during a pre-sentencing hearing in Prescott, Ariz., earlier this month. Credit: AP Photo/Michael Schennum, Pool.

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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal

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