Alex Jones slams critics at trial over Sandy Hook’s deceptive allegations

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

(Reuters) – Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ignited a courtroom match on Thursday as he attacked his critics as he testified at a trial to determine how much he owes to the families of the victims who died in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Which is what he said. Claimed falsely was a hoax.

Tensions heightened nearly four hours after she testified in a Waterbury, Connecticut, courtroom near Newtown, the city where the massacre occurred. Jones explodes against the “liberals” and refuses to apologize to a group packed with families of the victims.

“These are real people, did you know Mr. Jones?” asked the families’ attorney Chris Matty.

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

“Just like all the Iraqis who have been killed you liberals and you love,” replied Jones, a webcast presenter from Texas who was sued for saying no one was killed at Sandy Hook and that the families were just actors. Then many of his followers tortured and threatened families.

The defamation trial relates solely to the extent to which Jones and his parent company, Infowars, paid damages for spreading falsehoods that the US government had murdered 20 children and six employees as a pretext to confiscate weapons.

The testimony sparked a three-way screaming match between Jones and Matty and Jones’ attorney, Norman Bates, who repeatedly objected to Mattie’s cross-examination.

After the jurors left for the day, Judge Barbara Bellis told attorneys she will implement a “zero tolerance” policy for disturbances and will hold contempt hearings for anyone who “steps out of line,” including Jones.

Jones also tested the judge’s patience after Matty played a video praising his followers for putting up Infowars posters around a Connecticut court.

“The governors put up posters and we’re bad, I know, we all need to go to jail,” Jones said sarcastically at the witness stand, prompting the judge to briefly clear the courtroom and have a discussion with attorneys. Jones does not face any criminal charges.

The clip played while Matty provided evidence that Jones’ followers had harassed Sandy Hook families online and in person, including at memorials to the victims.

Jones also admitted that he called Bellis a “tyrant” after Matty showed a photo posted on Infowars depicting Belles with red lasers shooting from her eyes. He said he was not responsible for this position.

Bellis largely forbade discussion of politics and conspiracy theories at the trial.

Jones is also not allowed to challenge his liability for damages, after Bellis made a default judgment last year because he repeatedly failed to comply with court orders.

Jurors have to decide only what Jones and Infowars’ free speech systems must pay prosecutors, who also include an FBI agent, for the pain and suffering they say they caused.

A month ago, the conspiracy theorist was sentenced to $49.3 million in a similar case in Texas, where Free Speech Systems is based.

Jones’ lawyers hope to invalidate most of the payments, calling them excessive under Texas law.

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

(Jack Quinn reports in New York). Editing by Amy Stevens, Mark Porter and Richard Chang

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: