Entries in Self-Help (2)


Self-Help Guru, James A. Ray Sentenced to Prison

Hemera/Thinkstock(CAMP VERDE, Ariz.) -- An Arizona judge Friday sentenced the self-help guru found responsible for the deaths of three followers in a sweat lodge ceremony gone awry.

The Yavapai County Superior Court judge handed James A. Ray -- who was facing a maximum nine years in prison -- three two-year sentences, which will run concurrently, The New York Times reports. Ray also must pay over $57,000 in restitution.

In June Ray, a motivational speaker and author, was found guilty of negligent homicide in the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38; James Shore, 40; and Liz Neuman, 49.

In 2009, Kirby, Shore and Neuman died as a result of the extreme heat while participating in a ceremony, planned for two hours, in which Ray ignored signs of illness in some followers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Man Who Claimed He Assisted a Suicide Convicted of Murder

Photo Coutesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An unemployed drug addict who claimed he was paid to assist a motivational speaker commit suicide was convicted Thursday of murder.

A New York City jury found Kenneth Minor guilty of first degree murder in the death of Jeffrey Locker, a Long Island self-help guru whose business was floundering.

The prosecution conceded that Locker was suicidal and sought out Minor on a Harlem street corner in July 2009.

Minor and the prosecution agreed that Locker asked Minor to make his death look like a robbery so Locker's family would be able to claim a multi-million dollar insurance settlement.

Minor's lawyer told the jury his client simply held a knife against the steering wheel of Locker's station wagon as Locker thrust his chest against the blade to kill himself.

"He was taken advantage of... He's no contract killer," said Minor's lawyer, Daniel Gotlin, in closing arguments. Gotlin said Minor should be acquitted under a state statue that allows an assisted suicide defense in some murder charges.

But the prosecution said Minor killed Locker for money, binding his hands and stabbing the man repeatedly in the chest.

"This was murder for money, not a mercy killing, which is why we prosecuted the case as an intentional murder," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement. "We believe the jurors got it right with their verdict."

Gotlin said he would appeal the jury's verdict.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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