Right-wing broadcaster Alex Jones’ first day on the stand at his Sandy Hook defamation trial gave way to chaos and confusion Thursday with the conspiracy theorist calling the judge a “tyrant” and the proceedings “a kangaroo court.”
The day ended with Judge Barbara Bellis of Connecticut Superior Court wondering, “How are we going to avoid this problem tomorrow?”
At times rambling, despite being told to speak in turn, Jones, 48, insisted that he’s already apologized to the families of students and educators gunned down in 2012 in a Connecticut grade school and was “done apologizing.”
“Like it’s my fault,” he flippantly remarked on the witness stand. “People think I killed the kids.”
The bombastic commentator, who promoted the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, testified throughout the day.
The Connecticut trial, taking place a month after a jury in his home state of Texas determined that Jones and his company should award two parents nearly $50 million, is to determine how much he will have to pay the families of victims impacted by his lies.
Jones is being sued by eight more Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut case.
After the jury was dismissed around 4 p.m. Thursday, Bellis explained to Jones’ attorney that she can’t rule on his objections if they’re made while Jones is still ranting, despite being told repeatedly to control himself.
Jurors over the past week have heard testimony from relatives of slaughtered kids and adults claiming Jones’ followers have threatened and harassed them in the aftermath of the “Infowars” host’s comments.
Right off the bat Thursday, Jones seemed to annoy Bellis — who had earlier joked that she was going to call in sick for his testimony — by saying that he didn’t think this was an important case.
The 48-year-old broadcaster also implied he was being sued by the FBI, which the plaintiff’s attorney questioned. Jones conceded that he is not actually the defendant in any cases in which the FBI is a plaintiff, but argued that it was a convoluted “deep-state situation.”
Bellis advised Jones to take a breath. After having a sip of water, he said, “I’ll slow down.”
He grimaced and winced throughout the day while battling to maintain his composure.
An attorney for the families suing Jones asked the defendant to confirm that during a press conference earlier in the week, he’d referred to Bellis as a “tyrant.”
Jones responded that referring to people as tyrants isn’t uncommon for him.
Jones reportedly told reporters on his way into the courthouse that the hearing was “a show trial” and referred to Bellis’ courtroom as a “kangaroo court.”
In earlier press conferences, Jones said he’d believed what he was saying when he reported the 26 children and educators killed by a gunman in Sandy Hook Elementary School may have been actors trying to advance a pro-gun-control agenda. He acknowledged in a Texas courtroom last month that he now believes the Sandy Hook shootings were “100%” real.
More than a dozen family members of those killed during the Newtown, Conn., massacre made the trip to Waterbury to listen to Jones’ testimony. The Waterbury Superior courthouse is 20 miles northeast of the site of the Dec. 14, 2012 shootings. Several in attendance wept.
Hearings were set to continue Friday.