Alex Jones testifies at his latest trial over Sandy Hook hoax claims : NPR

Plaintiff’s attorney Chris Mattei (left) questioned Alex Jones Thursday at Jones’ trial to determine defamation damages in Waterbury, Conn.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool

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Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool

Plaintiff’s attorney Chris Mattei (left) questioned Alex Jones Thursday at Jones’ trial to determine defamation damages in Waterbury, Conn.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool

WATERBURY, Conn. – Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones made the argument Thursday at a Connecticut defamation trial as he tried to limit the damages he had to pay for false advertising that the tragedy The 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.

More than a dozen family members of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the shooting were also present to follow his testimony at Waterbury Superior Court, a block from Newtown, where it happened. The shooting was about 20 miles (32 km) away.

Plaintiff’s attorney Christopher Mattei showed a video from Jones’ Infowars web show in which he called the mass shooting “fake three-dollar bill” and referred to the victims’ parents as ” crisis actor”.

“Mr Jones, if someone falsely claimed that a group of bereaved families were actors and had faked the deaths of their loved ones, that would be a terrible thing to say, wouldn’t it?” Mattei asked Jones before showing the video.

“In context, it could be, yes,” Jones replied.

Last year, Jones was found liable by default for damages to plaintiffs without trial, as punishment for what the judge called his repeated failure to deliver documents to attorneys. their. A six-member jury is now deciding how much Jones and Free Speech Systems, Infowars’ parent company, must pay the families for defaming them and intentionally causing emotional distress.

In often emotional testimony, family members described enduring death threats, direct harassment and abusive social media comments. Some move to avoid being abused.

Outside the courthouse, Jones called his trial a “kangaroo court”.

Jones was in Connecticut this week preparing for his arrival. He held a news conference Wednesday outside of court, treating the proceedings – as he did on his Infowars show – as a “traitor of justice” and calling the judge a a “tyrant.” He made similar comments on his way into court on Thursday.

“This isn’t really an experiment,” he said. “This is a demonstration trial, a literal kangaroo court.”

Plaintiffs’ attorneys began by asking Jones if he believed Judge Barbara Bellis was a tyrant and whether he called many people tyrants.

“Only if they act like that,” he said.

Jones was also asked about a page on his Infowars site that called the trial a “kangaroo court” and the advertisements on that page. He says the page was created by his staff, but calls it a “good report”. He was also asked about the daily profit report. Jones said he couldn’t answer that question, but denied that he saw the trial as a marketing opportunity.

On his show, he called the trial an attack on free speech, and when asked on Thursday how important he feels the proceedings are, he replied, “I think this is history.”

Jones also says that credibility with his audience isn’t the most important thing to him. “It is crushing the globalists,” he said.

Bellis started the day by going over topics Jones couldn’t cover in her testimony: freedom of speech; Sandy Hook’s family’s $73 million settlement this year with gun manufacturer Remington (the company that made the Bushmaster rifles used to kill victims at Sandy Hook); Jones’ percentage shows discussed Sandy Hook; and whether he profited from those performances or a similar case in Texas.

“This is not the right forum for you to give that testimony,” Bellis said. Jones indicated that he understood.

But the jury had to be kicked out of the courtroom several times while attorneys argued over the scope of Jones’ answer.

“Today you will exercise people wearing Fitbits,” the judge told jurors.

Jones expressed regret but said his comment was misrepresented

During his lunch break, Jones again complained to reporters about his inability to testify that he was “innocent”, but said he truly regrets the content of his broadcasts with Sandy Hook.

“I said things that I probably shouldn’t have said,” he added. “I didn’t realize the power I had. And I’ve seen families, I’ve met some families. I think they’re real people. But it’s the media and the lawyers who continue to push it out and across. sculpt what I said and what I did.”

Jones has also been found liable by default in two similar hoax lawsuits located in his hometown of Austin, Texas, where a jury in one of the trials ordered Jones in October. before. paid nearly 50 million dollars damage to the parents of one of the children killed. A third trial in Texas is expected to begin near the end of the year.

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

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

Testimony at the current trial also focuses on web analytics data run by Infowars employees showing how sales of supplements, food, clothing and other items skyrocketed. at the time Jones talked about the Sandy Hook shooting.

The evidence, including Infowars internal emails and deposits, also shows disagreement within the company about pushing the lies.

Jones’ attorney Norman Pattis argued that any harm should be limited and accused the victim’s relatives of exaggerating the harm the lies did to them.

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