Self-help author's manslaughter trial nears end - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Self-help author's manslaughter trial nears end

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CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) -- A self-help author's manslaughter trial in central Arizona is nearing the end.

Closing arguments could come Wednesday if prosecutors decide against calling rebuttal witnesses and no legal issues are pending.

The jury has heard months of testimony to decide whether James Arthur Ray is responsible for the deaths of three people following a sweat lodge ceremony he led in October 2009.

Attorneys in the case were finalizing jury instructions Tuesday that will take about 45 minutes to read before closing arguments begin.

Prosecutors say Ray recklessly caused the deaths by increasing the heat in the sweat lodge and failing to check on participants.

Ray's attorneys say the deaths were a tragic accident and focused their case on the possibility that toxins contributed to the deaths.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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