WATERBURY, Conn. — The trial for Alex Jones continues Thursday after a day of emotional testimony from the families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims.
Jones has taken the stand Thursday.
Jones addressed the media when he arrived at Waterbury Superior Court, where he continued criticizing the ongoing defamation trial. He called it a “show trial, a literal kangaroo court.”
Jones went on to say that the trial is an attack on his First Amendment rights and on independent media outlets, like his InfoWars show.
Jones spoke outside of the courthouse again during lunch.
"I can’t purger 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.
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 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 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.
“I don’t direct most of the headlines,” Jones said, and added, “I’m sure they agree with me, that’s why they put that headline up.”
“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 yes, no, or I don’t know.
“I’m not allowed to talk about the rulings so how am I supposed to answer why I think this is a kangaroo court?” Jones asked.
Mattei pointed to one of the edited thumbnails of the judge on the TV: “This is the tyrant you’ve been telling your audience about?”
“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?”
Mattei revisited a discussion that he had with Free Speech Systems corporate representative Brittany Paz, who testified earlier this week.
Jones was asked if he had crypto donations made to InfoWars sent to his personal account. Jones explained that it goes into his personal wallet for him to then transfer to the company's bank account.
“None of that money ended up with you personally, yes or no?” Mattei asked.
“Well, technically it went into my bank account and then I put it into Free Speech Systems. That’s how it works...I think I may have put more money in,” Jones said.
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.
Court ended shortly after the judge called the council to a sidebar.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
An alternate juror went to court Wednesday but had asked to step down. As a result, the judge excused them with their thanks. There are six jurors and now three alternates.
The attorneys then huddled at the judge’s desk for an inaudible sidebar. But early on in that conversation, they mention Alex Jones’ two impromptu interviews with the media outside the Waterbury courthouse Tuesday.
David Wheeler, whose son Benjamin was one of the 20 students killed in the Newtown shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, opened up about the weeks and months after the shooting and how Jones’ fans harassed him and his family.
“The best way to describe it is I felt like I was underwater,” he said.
In the day's most emotional moment, he recalled a routine night in the Wheeler household where Ben got upset and bit him. “I sat him down on the bed and I said sweetheart, you can’t bite people. He looked at me and said, but dad, I had to bite something. Now I’m kind of glad he did. I have a scar,” explained Wheeler.
“To have someone publicly telling the world it didn’t happen and that you are a fraud and phony is incredibly disorienting,” Wheeler said. “You’re already fighting, and I can’t understand why anyone in the world would think that, I can’t figure it out.”
“People telling me I was going to burn in hell and I’d pay for what I’ve done,” Wheeler added. “And that continued for quite a while.”
Before lunch, Erica Lafferty was called to the stand. Her mom was the principal of Sandy Hook, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung.
Lafferty talked about her mom earning her undergrad with two kids to raise and how Dawn worked her way up the education ladder to become principal of Sandy Hook Elementary in 2010.
Dawn was pursuing a doctorate at the time of the 2012 tragedy.
“Her heart was with kids, always,” Lafferty said of Dawn.
After the shooting, Lafferty said she received multiple letters to her home.
When asked what they said she replied, “That I should die and be buried next to my fake dead mother.”
During the court's lunch, Alex Jones addressed the media outside of the Waterbury courthouse, where he continued to criticize the ongoing trial.
The testimony from other families continued throughout the day, including that of Jen Hensel, whose child, Avielle Richman, died in the shooting.
"The week after, there were just funerals," Hensel said. "We would see other families' funeral processions going past our house."
She added that that was part of the reason why she spread details of Avielle's funeral by word of mouth and tried not to publicize it.
"We had heard things at this point that some people thought that this was not a real event," Hensel said.
"If you stood up, the whole world was not right, and you feel like you were going to fly off the Earth...because everything was wrong that week," Hensel said through tears.
"We didn't think we were part of it, outside of this general thought...It was relentless," Hensel recounted.
Hensel’s husband Jeremy died of suicide years after the Sandy Hook shooting. She told the Hartford Courant in 2019 that he "succumbed to the grief that he could not escape" of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
In between these testimonies, the attorneys bickered about addressing public statements made by victims’ family members about the Second Amendment.
Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, wanted to address and probe Wheeler about being at an event with his wife on behalf of Michelle and Barack Obama, where she showed support for gun control.
He also wanted to probe whether Wheeler was aware of Jones’ gun control stances and even Wheeler’s gun stances before and after the tragedy.
Judge Barbara Bellis reiterated for several days that she does not want politics brought into the trial.
“Anytime I hear Trump, Obama, Clinton, I’m going to tell the jury that this trial is not about politics or elections,” Bellis added.
Pattis tried to revisit the topic several times, including by playing a Jones clip mentioning the Second Amendment.
Wheeler said he still supports responsible gun ownership but says some of his views of assault weapons changed in the wake of the massacre.
“When the news came out about the weapon that was used to murder my son. The specifics of that weapon and the availability of such a thing. I found it shocking. I was aghast. I couldn’t believe it,” he responded.
The trial continues on Thursday. Jones is expected to testify as soon as Thursday. Norm Pattis, told FOX61 he “won’t be able to control” Jones.
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