Alex Jones back on the Connecticut stand next week

WATERBURY, Connecticut — Lawyers for Alex Jones’ libel trial agreed on Friday not to take him to the stand until next week after a contentious day of testimony on Thursday about his promotion of the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, told the judge he would waive his right to cross-examine Jones and call him again as a defense witness next week.

“We believe this will streamline the process, lower the temperature level and help the jury focus on what they need to decide,” Pattis said.

On his first day of testimony on Thursday, Jones got into a heated exchange with plaintiff’s attorney Christopher Mattei, accusing the attorney of an ‘ambulance chase’ and saying he was done apologizing for allegedly that the shooting had been staged. In recent years, Jones has acknowledged the massacre happened, but said the families of the victims were used to promote a gun control and anti-free speech agenda.

Outside the courtroom and on her Infowars show, Jones called the proceedings a “show trial” and a “kangaroo court” and called Judge Barbara Bellis a tyrant, posting an image of her with lasers pulling from his eyes.

Jones was still complaining about the case and the limits of what he could say, outside the courthouse on Friday.

“Basically it would be like a boxing match where a guy has his arms tied behind his back and a gag in his mouth,” he said. “So it’s totally rigged. It’s absolute total fraud.

Twenty children and six educators died in the shooting nearly a decade ago in Newtown, Connecticut. The plaintiffs in that trial, which is taking place about 20 miles (32 kilometers) in Waterbury, include relatives of eight of the victims and an FBI agent who responded to the massacre.

The trial was to continue on Friday with other plaintiff witnesses.

Jones was found liable last year by default for damages to the plaintiffs without a trial, a consequence of what the judge called his repeated failures to turn over documents to their lawyers. The six-member jury is now deciding how much Jones and Free Speech Systems, parent company of Jones’ Infowars media platforms, should pay the families for defaming them and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

Pattis argues that any harm should be limited and has accused the victims’ relatives of exaggerating the harm the lies have caused them.

Bellis ordered Jones not to mention several topics in his testimony, including the right to free speech, the percentage of Jones’ shows that dealt with Sandy Hook, and whether he profited from those shows or a similar case in Texas.

A jury in that case last month in Austin, Texas, ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in damages to the parents of one of the children killed in the shooting. A third trial in Texas is expected to begin later this year.

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This story has been corrected to show that the plaintiffs include parents of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims, not eight of the children killed.

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Associated Press writer Michael Hill contributed to this Waterbury report.

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