Alex Jones, the notorious far-right conspiracy theorist who falsely promoted the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, was expected to take the stand on Thursday morning in a trial that will determine how much he will have to pay the families of victims.
It’s unclear what Jones will say in court, but he derided the court process during an appearance outside the courthouse on Tuesday, going as far as to refer to the judge overseeing the case as a “tyrant.”
The trial is taking place a month after a Texas jury determined that Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, the parent of the fringe media organization Infowars, should award two parents nearly $50 million.
Jones baselessly told his audience in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that the incident was staged. He has since acknowledged the shooting occurred, but only after the lawsuits were filed. He said in a 2019 sworn deposition that a “form of psychosis” caused him to make his false comments.
In the Connecticut case, where Jones is being sued by eight more Sandy Hook families, Judge Barbara Bellis issued a default judgment against the Infowars founder in November 2021 after he failed to comply with court orders.
Because the judge already ruled that Jones is liable, the jury is determining the amount in damages to award the plaintiffs. While the families have not specified a dollar figure, an attorney for the families asked jurors last week to “send a message” to the public with its decision.
Plaintiffs in three Connecticut lawsuits against Jones, including family members of eight school students and employees and one FBI agent who responded to the scene, have all been condensed into the trial that commenced earlier this month.
Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families has argued during the trial that Jones pushed the Sandy Hook lie because it was profitable.
Norman Pattis, Jones’ attorney, has argued that the claims made by the Sandy Hook plaintiffs are “exaggerated.” Pattis has also said the Sandy Hook families have “become partisans” and said the defense will argue the harm has been overstated “because they want to silence [Jones] for political reasons.”