Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Thursday became entangled in an explosive courtroom exchange with the attorney for the families of Sandy Hook victims sue him in Connecticut, leading to a censure from a judge and a warning that they could be considered in contempt if they violated court rules moving forward.
The warning came from frustrated judge Barbara Bellis during the trial that will determine how much Jones must pay the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims who shot the victims for his lies about the massacre.
Christopher Mattei, attorney familiesThe far-right media man questioned his false claim that the 2012 shooting that killed 26 people was a “hoax,” prompting Jones to become angry and attack him.
Jones accused Mattie of being a fraud and said he was guilty of an “ambulance chase” before descending into a rant in court about the “liberals”.
Bellis, who previously warned Jones that some of his outrageous outbursts were in violation of court rules, reminded Infowars that he was in a “court of law” and required to follow its instructions.
“Obviously, this is not your program and you have to respect the process,” Bellis told Jones. “Whether you like it or not, you have to respect the rules.”
Bellis also instructed the lawyers for both parties to act in an orderly fashion.
Bellis warned that anyone who violated the court’s rules in the future would be subject to a contempt hearing, and she emphasized that she would like to avoid it.
The stunning episode culminated in a testimony day from Jones who has yet to appear in the Connecticut libel trial. The trial is taking place a month after a Texas jury decided that Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, should give the parents nearly $50 million.
Jones baselessly told his fans in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that the incident was staged. He has since admitted to the shooting, but only after lawsuits were filed. He said in an sworn statement in 2019 that a “kind of psychosis” caused him to make his false comments.
In the Connecticut case, where Jones is being sued by eight other Sandy Hook families, Bellis delivered a hypothetical ruling against the Infowars founder in November 2021 after he failed to comply with court orders.
In court on Thursday, Jones, who has sought to portray himself as the victim of a complex “deep state” plot against him, confronted during his testimony some of his past jerky speeches attacking the justice system.
Matty Jones was forced through his cross-examination to confess to the jury that he had referred to the proceedings as a “kangaroo court” and called the judge a “tyrant”.
Matty talked about how it upset Jones when false statements were made against him, noting that the Infowars founder has taken legal action in the past when he felt he had been defamed.
The attorney argued to the jury that the lies Jones told about the families of Sandy Hook victims were far more harmful than the comment that upset Jones and prompted him to take legal action.
Mattie, who argued during the trial that Jones pushed the Sandy Hook lie because it was profitable, also questioned whether he was using the trial as a marketing ploy to sell products to his loyal fan base.
Since the judge has already ruled that Jones is liable, the jury determines the amount of damages to award the plaintiffs. While the families did not specify a dollar number, the families’ attorney asked jurors last week to “send a message” to the public of their decision.
Prosecutors ramped up three lawsuits in Connecticut against Jones, including family members of eight students, school staff and an FBI agent who responded to the scene, in a trial that began earlier this month.
Norman Bates, Jones’ attorney, argued that the allegations made by prosecutors at Sandy Hook were “exaggerated.” Bates also said Sandy Hook families have “become supporters” and said the defense will argue the damage has been exaggerated “because they want to be silenced.” [Jones] for political reasons.”
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