Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones took the stand Thursday atas he tries to restrict the damages he should pay for selling the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook college bloodbath was a hoax.
More than a dozen relations of a few of the 20 kids and 6 educators killed within the capturing additionally confirmed as much as observe his testimony in Waterbury Superior Court, which is about 20 miles from Newtown, the place the capturing occurred.
Plaintiffs lawyer Christopher Mattei confirmed a video from Jones’ Infowars net present by which he referred to as the mass capturing “phony as a three-dollar bill” and referred to as the dad and mom of the victims “crisis actors.”
“Mr. Jones, if someone were to falsely claim that a group of families who had lost loved ones were actors and had faked the deaths of their loved ones, that would be a horrible thing to say, correct?” Mattei requested Jones earlier than displaying the video.
“In the context, it could be, yes,” Jones replied.
Jones was discovered liable final 12 months by default for damages to plaintiffs with out a trial, as punishment for what the decide referred to as his repeated failures to show over paperwork to their legal professionals. The six-member jury is now deciding how a lot Jones and Free Speech Systems, Infowars’ guardian firm, ought to pay the households for defaming them and deliberately inflicting emotional misery.
In usually emotional testimony, relations have described enduring demise threats, in-person harassment and abusive feedback on social media. Some moved to keep away from the abuse.
Jones has been in Connecticut this week in preparation for his look. He held a information convention Wednesday outdoors the courthouse, bashing the proceedings — as he has on his Infowars present — as a “travesty of justice” and calling the decide a “tyrant.” He made related feedback on his means into the courthouse Thursday.
“This is not really a trial,” he mentioned. “This is a show trial, a literal kangaroo court.”
The plaintiffs attorneys started by asking Jones whether or not he believed Judge Barbara Bellis was a tyrant and whether or not he calls lots of people tyrants.
“Only when they act like it,” he mentioned.
Jones additionally was requested a few web page on his Infowars web site that referred to as the trial a “kangaroo court” and ads on that web page. He mentioned the web page was created by his employees, however referred to as it a “good report.” He additionally was requested about every day revenue reviews. Jones mentioned he couldn’t reply that query, however denied he noticed the trial as a advertising alternative.
On his present, he has referred to as the trial an assault on free speech and when requested Thursday how essential he felt the continuing was, he answered, “I think this is historic.”
Jones additionally mentioned that credibility along with his viewers shouldn’t be a very powerful factor to him. “It’s crushing the globalists,” he mentioned.
Bellis started the day by going over the subjects that Jones couldn’t point out in his testimony: free speech rights; the Sandy Hook households’ $73 million settlement this 12 months with gun-maker Remington (the corporate made the Bushmaster rifle used to kill the victims at Sandy Hook); the share of Jones’ reveals that mentioned Sandy Hook; and whether or not he profited from these reveals or an analogous case in Texas.
“This is not the appropriate forum for you to offer that testimony,” Bellis mentioned. Jones indicated that he understood.
But the jury needed to be despatched out of the courtroom a number of occasions whereas attorneys argued in regards to the scope of Jones’ solutions.
“You’re going to get your exercise today, for those of you who wear Fitbits,” the decide advised jurors.
During the lunch break, Jones once more complained to reporters about not having the ability to testify that he’s “innocent,” however mentioned he does have some regrets in regards to the content material of his broadcasts coping with Sandy Hook.
“I’ve said things I probably shouldn’t have said,” he added. “I didn’t realize the power I had. And I’ve seen the families, I’ve met some of the families. I think they’re real people. But it’s the media and the lawyers that keep bringing it up and misrepresenting what I said and what I did.”
Jones additionally has been discovered liable by default in two related lawsuits over the hoax lies in his hometown of Austin, Texas, the place a jury in one of many trialsto the dad and mom of one of many kids killed. A 3rd trial in Texas is predicted to start close to the top of the 12 months.
When Jones confronted the Texas jury final month and testified underneath oath, he toned down his rhetoric. He mentioned he realized the hoax lies had been irresponsible and the varsity capturing was “100% real.”
Jones’ reveals had portrayed the Sandy Hook capturing as staged by disaster actors as a part of gun management efforts.
Testimony on the present trial additionally has targeted on web site analytics knowledge run by Infowars staff displaying how its gross sales of dietary dietary supplements, meals, clothes and different gadgets spiked across the time Jones talked in regards to the Sandy Hook capturing.
Evidence, together with inside Infowars emails and depositions, additionally reveals dissention throughout the firm about pushing the hoax lies.
Jones’ lawyer Norman Pattis is arguing that any damages must be restricted and accused the victims’ family of exaggerating the hurt the lies brought on them.