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Crime

Coroner Takes Stand In Arizona Sweat Lodge Trial

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James Ray was arrested on Feb. 3, 2010 for the deaths at an Oct. 8, 2009 ceremony intended to be the highlight of his five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event. (credit: Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

James Ray was arrested on Feb. 3, 2010 for the deaths at an Oct. 8, 2009 ceremony intended to be the highlight of his five-day “Spiritual Warrior” event. (credit: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office)

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CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) — Jurors in a self-help author’s manslaughter trial are expected to hear from a doctor who performed autopsies on two people who died in a sweat lodge ceremony.

Prosecutors say they’ll call Robert Lyon to the stand Thursday.

He conducted autopsies on Kirby Brown and James Shore, who were pronounced dead shortly after the October 2009 ceremony near Sedona. Liz Neuman slipped into a coma and died nine days later.

James Arthur Ray led dozens of people into the heated structure as part of his “Spiritual Warrior” event. He’s pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

Lyon concluded that Shore and Brown died from heat stroke.

Defense attorneys say prosecutors ignored other potential causes for their deaths, including exposure to toxins.

Prosecutors say Ray conditioned the participants to ignore signs of danger.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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