Alex Jones lashes out at critics at trial over Sandy Hook hoax claims

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Sept 22 (Reuters) – Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ignited a courtroom shouting match on Thursday, railing towards 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 capturing, 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 happened. Jones fulminated towards “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.

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“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 mother or father firm of his Infowars web site should pay in damages for spreading lies that the US authorities staged the killing of 20 youngsters and 6 workers 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, Decide Barbara Bellis advised 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 endurance after Mattei performed a video clip during which 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 have to 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 legal costs.

The clip was performed as Mattei introduced proof that Jones’ followers had harassed Sandy Hook households on-line and in individual, together with at memorials for victims.

Jones additionally displayed calling Bellis a “tyrant” after Mattei a picture posted on Infowars depicting Bellis with pink lasers capturing from her eyes. He stated he was not liable for the put up.

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 yr as a result of he repeatedly did not adjust to court docket orders.

Jurors should determine solely what Jones and Infowars’ mother or father Free Speech Methods should pay the plaintiffs, who additionally embody an FBI agent, for the ache and struggling they are saying he triggered.

A month in the past, the conspiracy theorist was hit with a $49.3 million verdict in an identical case in Texas, the place Free Speech Methods relies.

Jones’ attorneys hope to void a lot of the payout, calling it extreme below Texas regulation.

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Reporting by Jack Queen in New York; Enhancing by Amy Stevens, Mark Porter and Richard Chang

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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