APNewsBreak: New trial sought in sweat lodge case

July 12, 2011 - 8:59 PM

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Attorneys for a self-help author convicted of negligent homicide stemming from three deaths at a sweat lodge ceremony are seeking a new trial based on what they say was egregious misconduct by prosecutors.

James Arthur Ray's attorneys outlined 10 categories in a motion filed Monday in which they allege misconduct throughout the trial.

The defense says one of the most recent examples was that prosecutors played an audio clip that never was admitted into evidence. Jurors heard the clip before deliberating on aggravating factors.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk acknowledged the error. But she says the information was cumulative and did not prejudice Ray.

The judge won't decide on the motion this week.

Three people died following the ceremony led by Ray in October 2009 near Sedona.