Arizona judge denies motion to move sweat-lodge trial

Associated Press/September 20, 2010

Phoenix - A judge has denied a motion to have the manslaughter trial of a motivational speaker moved out of northern Arizona's Yavapai (YAV-uh-pie) County.

Attorneys for James Arthur Ray claim publicity in the case will hurt their client's ability to receive a fair trial and they want it transferred to the Phoenix area. Prosecutors insist that the media coverage has been minimal except for the first month of the case.

Ray has pleaded not guilty to the charges that stem from a sweat-lodge ceremony he led near Sedona last October. He's charged with manslaughter in connection with the deaths of 3 people who attended the ceremony.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow also ordered Monday that prosecutors must disclose information presented to medical examiners prior to the examiners' rulings on how the three victims died. Prosecutors had argued the information was "work product" that didn't need to be disclosed to Ray's lawyers.

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