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State Details Final Moments Of Sweat Lodge Victims

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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) – The prosecutor in a self-help author’s manslaughter trial says the author senselessly and recklessly snuffed out the lives of three people who were determined to complete a sweat lodge ceremony he led.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk made the statement during closing arguments Thursday.

She says James Arthur Ray failed to answer pleas for help and asked jurors to consider whether James Shore, Kirby Brown and Liz Neuman would be alive today if not for Ray’s conduct.

Ray’s attorneys have said the deaths were a tragic accident, not a crime.

Defense attorney Luis Li anticipates at least four hours for his closing argument. He has says no one was forced to stay in the sweat lodge and that investigators ignored other potential causes of death.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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