Arizona sweat lodge case soon will go to jury

June 17, 2011 - 3:43 AM

CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) — Jurors have listened intently for two days as attorneys made closing arguments in a self-help author's manslaughter trial.

The case is expected to be in their hands sometime Friday.

Defense attorney Luis Li anticipates up to two hours more of arguments. He told jurors Thursday that prosecutors have not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that his client, James Arthur Ray, caused the deaths of three people. Ray was leading a sweat lodge ceremony near Sedona in October 2009 that turned deadly.

His attorneys say those deaths were nothing but a tragic accident and Ray cannot be held criminally liable.

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