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Feb 12, 2010 9:03 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Arizona judge to consider gag order in sweat lodge case

A Yavapai County judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether a gag order should be issued in the case of a motivational speaker charged with manslaughter.

James Arthur Ray faces three counts of manslaughter, stemming from the deaths of three people following a sweat lodge ceremony he led in northern Arizona last October.

Prosecutor Sheila Polk requested the gag order, saying it would limit pretrial publicity that could taint the jury pool. If granted, it would cover Ray, his Web site and blog, his attorneys and their staff, and employees of his Carlsbad, Calif.-based company, James Ray International.

Staff in Polk's office as well as the county sheriff's office also would be included. An attorney representing some media outlets says a gag order would be unjustified.

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