James Arthur Ray, a self-help expert convicted in the deaths of three people who succumbed to extreme heat of an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony in 2009, was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.
Ray had been convicted on three counts of negligent homicide for the three deaths that happened as a result of the ceremony in Sedona, Arizona. He faced up to three years in prison on each count.
Three people died and at least 15 others fell ill in October 2009 during a "Spiritual Warrior" retreat, a ceremony modeled after Native American purification rituals, that Ray held at a resort near Sedona. Prosecutors argued that the lodge, which was made of willow trees and branches and covered with tarpaulins and blankets, was heated to a perilously high temperature and that Ray was indifferent to those clearly having trouble.
Ray's lawyers countered that what happened was an accident, not a crime.FULL STORY