- - Friday, February 5, 2010

ARIZONA

Self-help speaker charged in deaths

CAMP VERDE — Motivational speaker James Arthur Ray on Thursday pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of three people at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he led last year.

Mr. Ray was indicted and arrested on Wednesday for the deaths, which occurred at an Oct. 8 ceremony intended to be the highlight of his five-day “Spiritual Warrior” event. The ceremony was held at a retreat center he rented near Sedona.

Mr. Ray’s lawyer entered the plea on his behalf.

Mr. Ray is being held in the Yavapai County, Ariz., jail on $5 million bond and faces a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 12 1/2 years on each count.

CALIFORNIA

Socialite’s death linked to diabetes

LOS ANGELES — Socialite Casey Johnson’s death was related to her nearly lifelong diabetes, the Los Angeles County coroner said Thursday.

Johnson, 30, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson health care products fortune, died of diabetic ketoacidosis, the coroner said in a terse news release. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition caused by lack of insulin and sky-high blood sugar.

An autopsy was conducted Jan. 5, a day after Johnson’s body was found at her home.

The daughter of New York Jets owner Robert “Woody” Johnson, Johnson lived a party life, and in December she announced her engagement to bisexual reality TV star Tila Tequila.

COLORADO

Kingpin sentenced in racketeering case

DENVER — A Mexican drug kingpin who led a fearsome cartel for more than a decade has been sentenced in Denver to 17 years in prison for marijuana and racketeering.

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