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Associated Press, Published June 17 2011

Arizona sweat lodge case soon will go to jury

CAMP VERDE, Ariz. — An attorney for a self-help author facing manslaughter charges says authorities botched the investigation of an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony that turned deadly.

As a result, lawyer Luis Li said Friday, the state charged James Arthur Ray with three counts of manslaughter for what amounted to a tragic accident.

Jurors listened intently to closing arguments for a third day in Camp Verde. The case is expected to be in their hands later in the day.

Ray led the ceremony near Sedona in October 2009 as part of a weeklong seminar.

Li contends prosecutors failed to follow up on the possibility that toxins factored into the deaths of three people.

Prosecutors say Liz Neuman, James Shore and Kirby Brown would be alive today if not for Ray's conduct before and during the ceremony.