Doctor: Heat caused Ariz. sweat lodge deaths

AP News
Posted: May 10, 2011 8:51 PM
Doctor: Heat caused Ariz. sweat lodge deaths

A doctor has told jurors in a manslaughter trial related to a fatal Arizona sweat lodge ceremony that the three participants died from heat-related illnesses.

James Arthur Ray has pleaded not guilty to the deaths after a sweat lodge ceremony he led near Sedona in October 2009. His lawyers say toxins in the wood at the event could have factored into the deaths.

Dr. Matthew Dickson testified Tuesday that the signs and symptoms of the victims were inconsistent with a chemical typically found in pesticides. He says he has reviewed the participants' autopsy reports and medical records.

Other medical experts have testified that they could not rule out the chemical.

Prosecutors have blamed the deaths on recklessness on Ray's part.