Alex Jones, the notorious far-right conspiracy theorist who falsely promoted the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, is set to take a stand Thursday morning in a trial that will determine how much he should pay the families. of victims.
It’s unclear what Jones will say in court, but he mocked the trial during an appearance outside the courthouse on Tuesday, going so far as to call the judge overseeing the case a “tyrant.”
The trial comes a month after a jury in Texas ruled that Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, the parent company of fringe media organization Infowars, should award two parents nearly $50 million.
Jones unfoundedly told his audience in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that the incident was staged. He has since admitted that the shooting happened, but only after the lawsuits were filed. He said in a 2019 affidavit that a “form of psychosis” caused him to make his false comments.
In the Connecticut case, where Jones is being sued by an additional eight Sandy Hook families, Judge Barbara Bellis issued a default judgment in November 2021 against the Infowars founder after failing to comply with court orders.
Since the judge has already ruled that Jones is liable, the jury determines the amount of damages to be awarded to the plaintiffs. Although the families did not specify a dollar amount, a lawyer for the families last week asked the jurors to send a “message” to the public with his decision.
Plaintiffs in three Connecticut lawsuits against Jones, including relatives of eight students and employees and an FBI agent who responded on the scene, have all been summed up in the trial that began earlier this month.
Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the Sandy Hook families, argued at trial that Jones pushed Sandy Hook’s lie because it was profitable.
Norman Pattis, Jones’ attorney, has argued that Sandy Hook’s accusers’ allegations are “exaggerated.” Pattis has also said the Sandy Hook families have “become partisans” and said the defense will argue the damage was exaggerated “because they want to silence [Jones] for political reasons.”