Alex Jones brands defamation trial judge a ‘tyrant’ trying to railroad him into admitting he is ‘guilty’ outside court as he arrives to face families of Sandy Hook victims at his second defamation trial
- The comments from the InfoWars host come as his Sandy Hook damages case resumed, after he was ordered to pay more than $50million to victims’ families
- Jones, who reaches a global audience of millions through his Texas-based program, spent years claiming on-air that the Connecticut shooting was a hoax
- He has since conceded that he was wrong, but not before he was forced to shell out tens of millions to the victim’s families – a number that could soon swell
- The ongoing trial is the second hearing held to determine the exact amount Jones and Infowars owes to relatives of the 20 kids and six school staffers killed
- Arriving at the Waterbury courthouse Tuesday, Jones panned the Connecticut judge whose ruling made the forced payments possible, Judge Barbara Bellis
Alex Jones launched into a heated tirade on Tuesday outside a courthouse where he is being sued for defamation, during which he branded the presiding judge a ‘tyrant’ and accused her of attempting to coax a guilty plea out of him.
The comments from the embattled InfoWars host come as his Sandy Hook damages case resumed, after he was ordered to pay more than $50million to the victims’ families.
Jones, who reaches a global audience of millions through his Texas-based program, spent years claiming on-air that the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting was a hoax – one perpetrated by gun control advocates to appeal the Second Amendment.
He has since conceded that he was wrong, but not before he was forced to shell out tens of millions to the victim’s families – a number that could soon swell as proceedings continue.
The ongoing trial is the second hearing held to determine the exact amount Jones and Infowars currently owes to relatives of the 20 kids and six school staffers shot dead by teenage gunman Adam Lanza for denying the massacre took place.
Arriving at the Waterbury courthouse Tuesday, Jones, 48, panned the Connecticut judge whose ruling made the forced payments possible, Judge Barbara Bellis.
Bellis, who presided over Tuesday’s proceedings, delivered a bombshell court bomb last year by branding the host liable for his off-kilter comments – which included assertions that the shooting was staged by crisis actors.
Deciding in favor of the families, Bellis’ ruling set a legal president that will likely see Jones ordered to shell out tens – perhaps hundreds – of millions of dollars. And on Tuesday, Jones subsequently let his thoughts on the jurist known, upon being mobbed by a group of reporters and paparazzi.
Scroll down for video:
Alex Jones launched into a heated tirade on Tuesday outside a courthouse where he is being sued for defamation, during which he branded the presiding judge a ‘tyrant’ and accused her of attempting to coax a guilty plea out of him
‘This judge is a tyrant,’ Jones exclaimed outside the courthouse at around 10:30am. ‘This judge is ordering me to say that I’m guilty and to say that I am a liar. None of that is true.’
The far-right activist went on to rattle off other conspiracies he previously touted on his show that turned out to be true, in an effort to show that he was not malicious with his claims concerning the massacre, and that it was solely a journalistic flub.
‘I was not wrong about Sandy Hook on purpose,’ Jones said. ‘I questioned it. Just like Jesse Smollett. Just like WMDs in Iraq. Just like the Gulf of Tonkin. There are a lot of staged events in history, just like WMDs in Iraq and I questioned every major event.’
Calling the ongoing defamation trial a ‘travesty of justice,’ Jones went on to assert that he was ‘being put in an impossible position’ with the repeated court dates.
The statements from Jones echo earlier, more tongue in cheek references to his persecution the past year, in which the alt-right host claimed families were using him as a patsy for their pent up frustrations toward shooter Adam Lanza, who committed suicide after the assault
‘I’m being ordered to say I’m guilty,’ Jones told the crowd, who clamored to get a quote from the TV and internet personality.
‘I question every major event that we see, and so I’m being put in an impossible position inside of this courthouse.’
The statements from Jones echo earlier, more tongue in cheek references to his persecution the past year, in which the alt-right radio host claimed families were using him as a lighting rod for their pent up frustrations toward killer Lanza, who committed suicide after carrying out the assault on Sandy Hook Elementary.
‘Has anybody ever heard of someone being ordered to say they’re guilty, even in a criminal trial, where they found somebody with dead bodies?’ Jones shouted over reporters and shuttering cameras.
‘If the guilty person wants to get up and say they’re innocent, they’re allowed to,’ he said.
Jones tore into the Connecticut judge whose ruling made the forced payments possible, Judge Barbara Bellis, picture here during defamation proceedings last Friday
Jones went on to claim that ‘the judiciary has been weaponized’ against him.
Calling the trial a ‘struggle session right outside of South Africa or Communist China,’ Jones then appeared to concede that he had profited off his claims regarding Sandy Hook, saying he would be ‘perjuring myself’ if he said he had not financially benefited from the coverage.
However, Jones then backtracked, saying, ‘I don’t want to be the Sandy Hook man. It was a small part of what we said and did.’
The conservative talking head proceeded to further pan the American justice system for what he has called a ‘show trial’ in a rigged ‘kangaroo court’ – specifically honing in on Judge Leppis and her guilty ruling
Leppis’ decision was somewhat dubious, as it declared Jones liable for his comment by default without a trial, as punishment for what she called his repeated failures to turn over documents to the Sandy Hook families’ lawyers.
This is due to the fact Jones’ lead attorney, Andino Reynal, had mistakenly sent Bankston the entire digital copy of Jones’ cell phone, which included the last two years’ worth of the InfoWars host’s text messages.
Some of the texts were ordered to be turned over in discovery, which is the exchange of information and evidence between attorneys. However, Jones’ team flubbed by sending the full digital copy of his cellphone.
After it surfaced that his attorney had sent the phone contents by accident, many suggested Jones could appeal a verdict on grounds of ineffective counsel.
Jones is not being allowed to present defenses arguing he is not liable – hence his ‘show trial’ comments – including that the First Amendment gave him the right to question the shooting and facts surrounding it.
‘This is the murder of American justice. This is extremely dangerous,’ Mr Jones told the press.
A parent with two children confers with an official on the day of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012
The victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are pictured here: starting on the top row, from left to right, are Ana Marquez-Greene, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Emilie Parker, and Noah Pozner; Jesse Lewis, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Charlotte Bacon and Chase Kowalski; Daniel Barden, Jack Pinto, Catherine Hubbard, Dylan Hockley and Benjamin Wheeler; Grace McDonnell, James Mattioli, Avielle Richman, Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy; Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Dawn Hochsprung and Nancy Lanza
As he left reporters outside the courthouse, Jones said he would remain in the area if prosecutors decided to call him as a witness.
In early August, the notorious conspiracy theorist was ordered to $45million in punitive damages to Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis at the conclusion of an Austin, Texas, defamation trial.
The jury then compounded that ruling by ordering a further $4.1 million in compensatory damages, with Jones also owing an additional $1.5 million in fines.
This has left Jones owing more than $50 million for his claims concerning the shooting, proven to be demonstrably false and defamatory.
Jones is the founder of Infowars, the far-right conspiracy theory website that he launched 23 years ago that operates under the parent company, Free Speech Systems.
A Texas jury ordered Jones earlier this month to pay the families of the Sandy Hook massacre, nearly $50 million in damages after he spread a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, never happened and that it was staged.
Twenty children, between the ages of six and seven years old, and six adults were killed when 20-year-old Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree.
A parent walks away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with her children following a shooting at the school in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, 2012
Veronique De La Rosa, mother of Noah Pozner, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, wipes away tears during a news conference in Trumbull, Connecticut on February 15, 2022
Twenty children, between the ages of six and seven years old, and six adults were killed when 20-year-old Adam Lanza went on a shooting spree – with their families now setting their sights on Jones for his troubling assertions that the massacre was carried out by ‘crisis actors’
Kyle Farrar, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families, who denies that Jones is bankrupt, claims that he is conjuring these plots to conceal money and evade responsibility.
Mediate reported he said ‘Alex jones is not financially bankrupt; he is morally bankrupt.’
Jones is expected to file a response to the new motion soon, one of his bankruptcy lawyers, R.J. Shannon said last week.
This is the first of three trials that Jones will face in relation to his claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax. Last year, he was found guilty of defaming the families of the victims.
Two others are set for September, one in Texas and one in Connecticut, where the shooting took place. A total of eight families will be represented in the Connecticut trial.
In their lawsuits, the families and FBI agent William Aldenberg say that they have been subject to harassment, abusive comments on social media and even death threats because of the hoax conspiracy.
Some of the plaintiffs say strangers have videotaped them and their surviving children. And some families have moved out of Newtown to avoid threats and harassment.
‘I can’t even describe the last nine and a half years, the living hell that I and others have had to endure because of the recklessness and negligence of Alex Jones,’ Neil Heslin, Jesse Lewis’ father, testified during the Texas trial.
The Connecticut lawsuit alleges defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the state Unfair Trade Practices Act. The families claim when Jones talked about Sandy Hook, he boosted his audience and raked in more profits from selling supplements, clothing and other items.
The families have not asked for any specific amount of damages, some of which may be limited by state laws. There are no damage limits, however, under the Unfair Trade Practices Act.
In all the Connecticut and Texas cases, Jones and his lawyers repeatedly failed to turn over records as required to the families’ attorneys. In response, judges handed down one of the harshest sanctions in the civil legal world — they found Jones liable for damages by default without trials.
Jones, who runs his web show and Infowars brand in Austin, Texas, also faces a third trial over the hoax conspiracy in another pending lawsuit by Sandy Hook parents in Texas.
In a reversal from what he said on his show for years following the shooting, Jones now says he believes the massacre was real.
But he continues to say his comments about the shooting being a hoax involving crisis actors to encourage gun control efforts were protected by free speech rights.