© Reuters. Alex Jones arrives on the court docket home as he faces a second defamation trial over Sandy Hook claims in Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S., September 22, 2022. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin
By Jack Queen
(Reuters) -Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ignited a courtroom shouting match on Thursday, railing in opposition to critics as he testified in a trial to find out how a lot he owes households of victims who died within the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty mass taking pictures, which he falsely claimed was a hoax.
Tensions boiled over after roughly 4 hours of testimony within the Waterbury, Connecticut courtroom, not removed from Newtown, the city the place the bloodbath befell. Jones fulminated in opposition to “liberals” and refused to apologize to a packed gallery of victims’ households.
“These are actual folks, have you learnt that Mr. Jones?” a lawyer for the households, Chris Mattei, requested.
“Identical to all of the Iraqis you liberals killed and love,” retorted Jones, a Texas-based webcast host who’s being sued as a result of he stated nobody was killed at Sandy Hook and the households have been merely actors. Lots of his followers then tormented and threatened the households.
The defamation trial considerations solely how a lot Jones and the father or mother firm of his Infowars web site should pay in damages for spreading lies that the U.S. authorities staged the killing of 20 kids and 6 employees members as a pretext for seizing weapons.
The testimony triggered a three-way shouting match between Jones, Mattei and Jones’ lawyer, Norman Pattis, who repeatedly objected to Mattei’s questioning.
After jurors left for the day, Choose Barbara Bellis instructed the attorneys that she would implement a “zero tolerance” coverage for disruptions and would maintain contempt-of-court hearings for anybody who “steps out of line,” together with Jones.
Jones additionally examined the choose’s persistence after Mattei performed a video clip wherein he praised his followers for putting Infowars stickers across the Connecticut courthouse.
“Conservatives put up stickers and we’re unhealthy, I do know, all of us must go to jail,” Jones stated in a mocking tone on the witness stand, prompting the choose to briefly clear the courtroom and maintain a dialogue with attorneys. Jones doesn’t face any felony prices.
The clip was performed as Mattei introduced proof that Jones’ followers had harassed Sandy Hook households on-line and in particular person, together with at memorials for victims.
Jones additionally acknowledged calling Bellis a “tyrant” after Mattei displayed a picture posted on Infowars depicting Bellis with pink lasers taking pictures from her eyes. He stated he was not chargeable for the publish.
Bellis has largely barred dialogue of politics and conspiracy theories on the trial.
Jones can be not permitted to dispute his legal responsibility for damages, after Bellis issued a default judgment final 12 months as a result of he repeatedly did not adjust to court docket orders.
Jurors should resolve solely what Jones and Infowars’ father or mother Free Speech Methods should pay the plaintiffs, who additionally embrace an FBI agent, for the ache and struggling they are saying he induced.
A month in the past, the conspiracy theorist was hit with a $49.3 million verdict in the same case in Texas, the place Free Speech Methods is predicated.
Jones’ attorneys hope to void many of the payout, calling it extreme below Texas legislation.