Alex Jones set to testify at trial over Sandy Hook hoax lies

WATERBURY, Connecticut — Seven days after his trial began for calling on the Sandy Hook school to pull a hoax, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is set to make his first court appearance and begin testifying on Thursday, as he and his lawyer try to limit the damages he must pay to the families who lost loved ones in the massacre.

Jones traveled to Connecticut this week to prepare for his testimony, but appeared only briefly at the courthouse on Tuesday and did not enter the courtroom. The Infowars host called the proceedings a “travesty justice” and the judge a “bully” in comments outside Waterbury Courthouse, about 20 miles from the scene of the 2012 shooting in Newtown.

Twenty first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Meanwhile, several relatives of the victims testified emotionally during the trial that they had been traumatized by people calling the shooting fake, including clashes in their homes and in public and messages including death threats and of rape. The plaintiffs include an FBI agent who responded to the shooting and relatives of eight of the victims.

Last year, Judge Barbara Bellis found Jones liable by default for damages to plaintiffs without a trial, as punishment for what she called his repeated failures to turn over documents to their attorneys. The six-member jury will decide how much Jones and Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, should pay the families for defaming them and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

Bellis said in court Wednesday that she was prepared to handle any inflammatory testimony from Jones, with contempt proceedings if necessary.

Bellis also had to tell Jones, in his first appearance and with the jury not in the courtroom, what topics he can’t talk about – including free speech rights and the $73 million settlement. dollars from the Sandy Hook families earlier this year with gun maker Remington, which made the Bushmaster rifle used to kill the victims at Sandy Hook.

Jones was also found liable by default in two similar lawsuits over the hoax in his hometown of Austin, Texas, where a jury in one of the trials last month ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million. damages to the parents of one of the children. kill. A third trial in Texas is expected to begin later this year.

When Jones faced the Texas jury last month and testified under oath, he toned down his rhetoric. He said he realized the hoax lies were irresponsible and that the school shooting was “100% real”.

“I unwittingly took part in things that hurt the feelings of these people,” said Jones, who also admitted raising conspiracy allegations regarding other mass tragedies, Oklahoma bombings City and from the Boston Marathon to the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida,” and I’m sorry about that.

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

Testimony in the ongoing trial also focused on website analytics data maintained by Infowars employees showing how its sales of dietary supplements, food, clothing and other items increased as Jones spoke about the Sandy Hook shooting.

Evidence, including emails and internal Infowars depositions, also shows dissent within the company over the hoax.

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

Relatives testified that they still fear for their safety because of what believers have done and might do.

Jennifer Hensel, whose 6-year-old daughter Avielle Richman was among the victims, said Wednesday she was still monitoring her surroundings, even checking the back seat of her car, for safety reasons. She said she was trying to protect her two children, aged 7 and 5, from the hoax lies. A juror cried during his testimony.

“They are so young,” she says of her children. “Their innocence is so beautiful right now. And at some point, there’s a horde of people who could harm them.

Leave a Reply