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Self-help author convicted of negligent homicide

James Arthur Ray, left, and his attorney, Thomas Kelly, right, stand in the courtroom of Judge Warren R. Darrow, in the Yavapai County Courthouse in Camp Verde, Ariz., Wednesday, June 22, 2011.  The sweat lodge trial that has been going on for months was handed to the jury Tuesday. Jurors in central Arizona have returned for another day of deliberations in a self-help author's manslaughter trial.     (AP Photo/Tom Tingle, Pool)

James Arthur Ray, left, and his attorney, Thomas Kelly, right, stand in the courtroom of Judge Warren R. Darrow, in the Yavapai County Courthouse in Camp Verde, Ariz., Wednesday, June 22, 2011. The sweat lodge trial that has been going on for months was handed to the jury Tuesday. Jurors in central Arizona have returned for another day of deliberations in a self-help author's manslaughter trial. (AP Photo/Tom Tingle, Pool)

A jury has convicted a self-help author who led a sweat lodge ceremony in Arizona that left three people dead.

Jurors in Camp Verde, Ariz., reached their verdict Wednesday after a four-month trial.

James Arthur Ray was found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide.

More than 50 people participated in the October 2009 sweat lodge that was meant to be the highlight of Ray’s five-day “Spiritual Warrior” seminar near Sedona.

Three people died following the sauna-like ceremony meant to provide spiritual cleansing. Eighteen were hospitalized, while others were treated at the scene. Prosecutors and defense attorneys disagreed over whether the deaths and illnesses were caused by heat or toxins.

Ray’s attorneys have maintained the deaths were a tragic accident. Prosecutors argued Ray recklessly caused the fatalities.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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