Alex Jones’s defense rested on Wednesday without presenting any evidence or calling any witnesses in a Connecticut trial over the imposition of damages for lies the far-right conspiracy theorist told about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which took place in 2012.
Earlier in the trial, Jones essentially flipped out on the stand and insisted he wouldn’t be further apologizing in connection to what plaintiffs have characterized as his role in years of harassment from conspiracy theory believers targeting grieving family members. Jones originally helped further the delusional notion the shooting didn’t even happen as reported. Instead, the idea was that the incident was staged, with the ambition of those behind it to impose gun control or some similar measure. According to that thinking, the family members who lost loved ones in the shooting are simply actors, and since the incident took place, some have faced in-person confrontations, threats of rape and death, and one incident highlighted during the Connecticut trial in which someone urinated on a Sandy Hook victim’s grave. In another of the incidents, a Sandy Hook parent who faced Jones in court in Texas saw a stranger show up at their house on Christmas and take photos. One of the parents also reported gunfire targeting his residence and car.
The Connecticut trial is dealing only with the question of the amount of financial damages to impose. Jones was already found liable for defamation by default after failing to appropriately comply with the discovery process, during which he withheld financial materials. A similar scenario preceded Jones’s recently concluded Texas trial, where a jury settled on nearly $50 million in damages. Despite the extremist’s initial stonewalling, a lawyer for the Texas plaintiffs obtained a copy of Jones’s phone after the conspiracy theorist’s legal team mistakenly sent it over and then took no substantive legal action for days to stop its usage.
Jones was originally set to testify in his defense at the Connecticut trial, but Norm Pattis, who’s representing Jones in this case, tied Jones’s absence to court rules. Jones complained about the prospect of the judge finding him in contempt if he declared from the stand he is “innocent,” despite previous findings against him. Per Pattis, circumstances left Jones — in the extremist’s view — with perjury, contempt, or invoking the Fifth as his only options.
According to the Associated Press, jury deliberations were set to start on Thursday. Plaintiffs originally also brought a claim against Jones of violating Connecticut state law against unfair trade practices, which Jones has predictably challenged. Despite more recently filing for bankruptcy at Free Speech Systems, which is his main company, Jones raked in huge sums while promoting Sandy Hook lies. A federal bankruptcy judge handling his Free Speech Systems claims recently dismissed the attorney and chief restructuring officer Jones had on the case amid concerns about transparency, with Jones having spent tens of thousands of the supposedly bankrupt company’s money on ostensible security costs associated with going to Connecticut for trial.
Image: Jared Holt/ Creative Commons