James Arthur Ray
On February 3, 2010, Ray, New York Times
best-selling author and motivational speaker, was arrested after the October 8, 2009, sweat lodge fiasco he hosted claimed the lives of three participants, Kirby Brown, 38, James Shore, 40, and Liz Neuman, 49, and hospitalized 17 others for burns, dehydration, trouble breathing, kidney failure or heat stroke. Participants allegedly paid from $9,000 to $10,000 to participate in the Spiritual Warrior event, which Ray had been hosting at that site for seven years. Survivor Beverly Bunn told Good Morning America
that, about an hour into the "ceremony," when people began to feel sick, vomit and leave, Ray chided them saying that weakness could be overcome. Then, when things got really bad, he left the scene, "James Ray pretty much abandoned all of us. He left us there to figure out what was going on," said Bunn, "After the incident he never came back." Ray was arrested and charged with manslaughter on February 3, 2010. He was tried and found guilty on three counts of negligent homicide. In November 2001 Yavapai County, Ariz., Judge Warren Darrow sentenced Ray to two years in prison for each death, sentences which could be served concurrently, and would likely add up to about 600 days with time served. Victims' families and prosecutors were reportedly disappointed. Ray's attorney said that he would appeal the verdict.