Alex Jones testifies in Sandy Hook ‘hoax’ trial

Alex Jones has taken the stand at his Connecticut defamation trial, acknowledging he had promoted the conspiracy theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, but angrily refusing to keep apologising for that.

More than a dozen relatives of the 26 shooting victims showed up on Thursday (local time) to observe his often contentious testimony in Waterbury Superior Court, about 30 kilometres from Newtown, where the shooting occurred.

Jones was found liable last year by default for damages to plaintiffs without a trial, for what the judge called his repeated failures to turn over documents to their lawyers.

The six-member jury is deciding how much Jones and Free Speech Systems, parent of Jones’ Infowars media platforms, should pay the families for defaming them and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

On Thursday, Jones admitted calling parents “crisis actors” on his show and saying the shooting was “phoney as a three-dollar bill.”

Plaintiff lawyer Christopher Mattei accused Jones of putting targets on the parents’ backs, pointing to the family members in the courtroom and saying “these are real people”.

“Just like all the Iraqis you liberals killed and love,” Jones responded.

“Just, you’re unbelievable. You switch on emotions, on-and-off when you want. You’re just ambulance chasing.”

“Why don’t you show a little respect?” Mr Mattei shot back, as Jones’ lawyer, Norm Pattis, shouted objections and several family members shook their heads in apparent disbelief.

The exchange went on with Mr Mattei pointing out that the families in the courtroom had “lost children, sisters, wives, moms”.

“Is this a struggle session?” said Jones, who in recent years has acknowledged the shooting was real.

“Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I’m sorry.”

After excusing the jury for the day, Judge Barbara Bellis admonished both sides, saying further outbursts would lead to a contempt hearing.

Earlier in the trial, family members of the victims have given often emotional testimony describing how they endured death threats, in-person harassment and abusive comments on social media. Some moved to avoid the abuse.

Jones’ shows had portrayed the Sandy Hook shooting as staged by crisis actors as part of gun control efforts.

Jones has already been found liable by default in two similar lawsuits over the Sandy Hook hoax lies in his hometown of Austin, Texas, where a jury in one of the trials ordered Jones last month to pay nearly $US50 million ($A75 million) in damages to the parents of one of the children killed. A third trial in Texas is expected to begin near the end of the year.

Jones was asked on Thursday about a page on his Infowars site that called the trial a “kangaroo court” and included a graphic showing the judge with lasers shooting from her eyes. He said the page was created by his staff, but called it a “good report”.

He was asked about advertisements on that page and other Sandy Hook content, as well as daily profit reports. Jones said he could not answer those questions, but denied he saw the trial as a marketing opportunity.

Jones, who is expected back on the stand on Friday, made brief comments to reporters while leaving the courthouse.

“The First Amendment will prevail,” he said.

“The American people will never be silenced.”


Topics: Alex Jones
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