MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A trial is scheduled to begin later this month for the organizer of a sweat-lodge ceremony in Arizona that killed a Milwaukee man and two others in 2009.
Thursday, a judge refused to allow evidence from James Arthur Ray’s previous sweat-lodge ceremonies.
Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow said a jury will only hear about the events leading up to the deaths of 40-year-old James Shore of Milwaukee, 49-year-old Liz Neuman of Prior Lake Minnesota, and 38-year-old Kirby Brown of Westtown New York. The fatal event took place near Sedona Arizona.
Prosecutors tried to show that Ray’s previous sweat-lodge ceremonies were conducted in a similar manner – and those participants showed signs of mental and physical distress. But Judge Darrow said there’s no substantial medical evidence that any of those people had their lives threatened – and Ray had no indication the people in those earlier ceremonies could die.
Jury selection in Ray’s trial is scheduled to begin February 16th. His lawyers are still asking that the trial be moved somewhere else in Arizona.