WATERBURY, Conn. — Alex Jones took the stand Thursday for a stop-and-go testimony in a Connecticut defamation trial over his claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
He arrived in Connecticut earlier this week, but this is his first time in the courtroom for this case and testifying.
On Wednesday, Jones hinted that he may invoke his right to remain silent in order to avoid perjuring himself. But he was anything but silent. At times, Jones looked angry, annoyed, uncomfortable and confused on the witness stand.
Judge Barbara Bellis began the day by going over the topics that Jones could not mention in his testimony: free speech rights; the Sandy Hook families' $73 million settlement this year with gun-maker Remington (the company that made the Bushmaster rifle used to kill the victims at Sandy Hook); the percentage of Jones' shows that discussed Sandy Hook; and whether he profited from those shows or a similar case in Texas.
“The First Amendment is not an issue in this hearing in damages, no one is going to ask you about the First Amendment, this is not the appropriate forum to offer that testimony,” the judge told Jones before he took the stand.
Plaintiff attorney Chris Mattei first reviewed how InfoWars has been covering the first seven days of the trial, with Jones’ website publishing clips of the trial on a new InfoWars webpage and creating graphics with edited photos of the judge.
“Ever since the trial started you called this a kangaroo court and you called the judge a tyrant?” Mattei asked Jones.
“Yes,” Jones said.
“You use that a lot, huh?” Mattei asked.
“Only when they act like it,” Jones replied.
The judge had to tell Jones multiple times to answer the plaintiff's "yes," "no," or "I don’t know," as well as to stop talking when an objection is called.
Jones depicted Judge Bellis with laser eyes and engulfed in flames in several meme-like posts on his InfoWars website.
“This is the tyrant you’ve been telling your audience about?” Mattei asked as he pointed to the TV with one of the images on it.
“I don’t know,” Jones replied.
“The answer is you don’t know?” Mattei asked.
“I don’t know about that, I didn’t make it," Jones said. "I thought you were asking about the image, what is the question?”
Jones has also been advertising the trial as a ‘kangaroo court.’ “How do I answer why something is a kangaroo court if I’m not supposed to say why I think it is?” asked Jones.
The plaintiff brought up the 2019 lawsuit Jones filed against The Young Turks accusing him of “intentionally” sending child pornography to Sandy Hook parents.
Mattei tried to convey how an accusation of a felony would go viral on the internet, lead people who found it to believe it, and perhaps see Jones as a target as a result. The plaintiff tried to show that parallel with how he covered the Sandy Hook shooting in his shows and the ongoing defamation trial.
"When people believe something horrible...that could lead to people who believe it to hate you right?" Mattei asked.
"I mean I think that's fair to say," Jones said.
“The lie you spread for years and years, was that the families behind me are actors, correct?” Mattei later asked.
“I can’t answer that,” Jones replied.
“You testified that you referred to the families as actors,” Mattei continued.
“I don’t know. I had never seen their faces until this, I don’t know, I can’t answer that,” Jones said.
Jones's defense team argued that the plaintiff’s counsel was instigating and antagonizing Jones - setting him up to speak about topics that the court previously barred, and baiting Jones into contempt.
"We were warned about contempt and he’s trying to put me in the position with these snide comments,” said Pattis, remarking about Mattei to the judge during a sidebar conversation.
Mattei played the full speech a father of a Sandy Hook victim gave the day after the shooting that killed 20 kids and six educators nearly 10 years ago.
“That’s the real Robbie Parker, isn’t it?” Mattei said, raising his voice, and pointing to Parker, who was sitting in the gallery of the courtroom, along with numerous other Sandy Hook families. “And for years you put a target on his back, didn’t you?”
The proceedings then turned into a screaming match. Several observers in the courtroom, some of them families of the Sandy Hook victims, could be seen wiping their eyes, as Jones' attorney, Norm Pattis, was screaming over Mattei, Jones, and the judge, and objecting to numerous points Mattei was making.
“You have families in this courtroom that lost children, sisters, wives, Moms,” Mattei said.
“Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry several times and I’m done saying I’m sorry,” Jones said.
Before court adjourned, Judge Barbara Bellis said she will have "zero tolerance" for Jones and his attorney not following the rules on Friday. She warned they could face a contempt hearing.
Jones spoke outside of the courthouse again during lunch.
"I can’t perjure myself by lying and disobeying her order, and she understands the pickle, she said, she put me in, so maybe she’s not a big tyrant with a capital T, maybe she’s a little baby tyrant sometimes," Jones said in reference to the judge.
“Are you hoping anything goes differently inside after lunch?” FOX61’s Gaby Molina asked Alex Jones outside the courthouse. “Lots of stop and go.”
“The judge found me guilty – which is unprecedented in America, and now, there’s all these things I can’t say, like I’m innocent or I was the first person to question Sandy Hook,” Jones replied.
“I just want to get this whole Sandy Hook thing behind me,” Jones added.
Jones will likely be back on the stand Friday.
Jones was already found guilty of calling the Sandy Hook shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, a hoax on his InfoWars show.
Last month, a separate defamation trial ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million to the Lewis family, who lost their son Jesse in the shooting.
In this Connecticut case, the families of eight victims and an FBI agent that responded to the shooting filed for damages against Jones, saying his claims saying Sandy Hook was stage have turned them into targets.
Pattis is arguing that any damages should be limited and accused the victims' relatives of exaggerating the harm the lies caused them.
A third similar suit, out of Texas, is awaiting trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Leah Myers is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at email@example.com
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