- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2011

PRESCOTT, ARIZ. (AP) - A self-help author convicted of negligent homicide has been sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $57,000.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow handed down the sentence Friday in a central Arizona courtroom.

Ray’s motivational mantra drew dozens of people to Sedona in October 2009 where they participated in a sweat lodge ceremony meant to purify their bodies.

The participants began showing signs of distress about halfway through the two-hour ceremony, and three died.

Ray insisted the deaths were a tragic accident. But a jury found him guilty on three counts of negligent homicide, rejecting the more serious charges of manslaughter.

Ray’s potential sentence had ranged from probation to nine years in prison.

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