Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones testified on the witness stand in his ongoing defamation damages trial in Connecticut on Thursday — and, in terms of the extremist leader’s defense, it didn’t go well.
Jones is facing the trial in connection to lies he told about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which took place in 2012. Jones repeatedly undercut the reality of the shooting, with the idea circulating on the extreme Right that the incident was staged and family members of victims were actually actors. Believers have repeatedly confronted those who lost loved ones in the shooting. In a recently concluded Texas damages trial, a plaintiff spoke of how a stranger even showed up to her home on Christmas and began taking photographs, and other in-person confrontations involving conspiracy theory believers and grieving families have also unfolded. On Thursday, Jones ranted in court that he was sick of apologizing.
It certainly doesn’t seem as though Jones insisting he’s uninterested in further apology could help his side’s efforts to keep the level of damages the jury decides to impose small, and Jones’s lawyer repeatedly shouted out objections as the media figure angrily complained, evidently concerned about how the questioning was unfolding. “Robbie Parker’s sitting right here,” Christopher Mattei, a lawyer on the Sandy Hook families’ side questioned Jones in Connecticut court this week. “He’s real, isn’t he? And for years you put a target on his back, didn’t you? Just like you did every single parent and loved one sitting here.” Parker is one of the parents whose children were killed. “Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry, and I’m done saying I’m sorry,” Jones eventually ranted to Mattei. He directly replied to the lawyer’s original question by insisting that he hadn’t put a “target” on anybody, although his followers targeted Sandy Hook families in line with the delusional conspiracy theories he promoted to the world.
“This is not a press conference, this is clearly not your show,” Judge Barbara Bellis told Jones at one point. “You have to respect the process.” Later on, Bellis threatened the possibility of contempt. “You can expect a contempt hearing if anybody steps out of line,” she remarked to the conspiracy theorist’s lawyer, discussing her guidelines for decorum in court. “And Mr. Jones, same thing.” The Connecticut trial is the second of three set in motion by findings Jones was liable for defamation by default after he failed to comply with discovery requirements in litigation originating with Sandy Hook families. The discovery process involves assembling facts and sworn testimony relevant to the case, and Jones consistently resisted providing required materials. Meanwhile, in court this week, Jones also violated directives from the judge against mentions of partisan politics or political figures, instead discussing “crushing the globalists.”
Jones is also facing difficulties in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings for his company Free Speech Systems. A federal bankruptcy judge on the case recently dismissed Jones’s lawyer and chief restructuring officer amid concerns about transparency tied to issues like Jones using $80,000 in company funds on so-called security around the Connecticut trial.