Alex Jones risks arrest by skipping court-ordered Sandy Hook deposition for second day in row

Far-right conspiracy theorist refused to attend his deposition for two days in a row claiming he is sick - while continuing to broadcast his live show

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 24 March 2022 18:40 GMT
<p>InfoWars host Alex Jones failed to appear for his deposition for a second day </p>

InfoWars host Alex Jones failed to appear for his deposition for a second day

Alex Jones may now face arrest for contempt of court after he failed to appear for his deposition for the second day in a row in a lawsuit over his false claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was a “giant hoax”.

A court document filed on Thursday by an attorney for the families of victims of the 2012 mass shooting said that Mr Jones breached the court order by failing to turn up to testify under oath that morning.

The far-right conspiracy theorist had refused to attend the first day of his deposition on Wednesday, claiming to be too sick to leave his home - despite traveling to his studio to broadcast his live show on multiple occasions this week.

It later emerged that the conspiracy theorist got a doctor who appeared on his show on Monday to send a letter to the court saying he was unwell.

Dr Benjamin Marble attacked the Covid-19 vaccines as “poison” and called the US’s top doctor Dr Anthony Fauci “the greatest mass murderer in the history of the world” live on Monday’s Infowars show.

Off the air, he then advised Mr Jones not to attend his deposition or work until he gets the results of medical tests, saying that he believes “Mr Jones stands at serious risk of harm”, according to a sworn statement submitted by Mr Jones’ attorneys to the court.

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis has denied multiple attempts from Mr Jones’ legal team to delay the deposition this week and issued a court order for it to go ahead as planned on Wednesday.

When he failed to show up that day, the judge ordered him to appear for the deposition on Thursday.

In a filing submitted after his first no-show, the victims’ families called on the judge to issue “civil contempt penalties, up to and including the issuance of a writ or order to arrest Mr Jones and bring him before the court to testify” if he failed to show for a second day.

Judge Bellis has not yet indicated whether she plans to take these steps.

Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the victims’ families, called Mr Jones’ refusal to appear for a second time a “cowardly attempt” to escape accountability.

“Once again, Alex Jones failed to appear for his court-ordered deposition today. This cowardly attempt by Mr Jones to escape accountability for the years he spent spreading lies about Sandy Hook shows contempt both for the law and the families,” he said in a statement to The Independent.

“We will continue to work within the legal system to hold Mr. Jones accountable for his actions.”

The Independent has also reached out to Mr Jones’ attorney for comment.

Mr Jones’ legal team first filed a motion on Monday to delay the deposition saying he was “remaining at home” due to “unspecified medical conditions”.

The judge turned down this first attempt and cast doubt on the authenticity of the doctor’s note sent to the court, which did not name the physician or Mr Jones’ ailment.

Meanwhile, the Infowars host continued to broadcast his show live on Monday and Tuesday - from a studio that his attorneys later admitted he had left his home to travel to.

The court heard that Mr Jones was even broadcasting Tuesday’s show at the very moment that his lawyers were arguing for a delay due to his mystery health condition.

On Wednesday, he did not appear to be in person on his show but talked over the phone for part of it.

Another motion filed on Wednesday by Mr Jones’ attorneys then identified the previously unnamed doctor telling Mr Jones to stay home as Dr Marble.

According to the filing, “Mr Jones’ nonappearance comes upon the advice of Dr Benjamin Marble who arrived in Austin to visit him on March 20, 2022”.

The following day - the day of the Infowars show - Dr Marble’s “personal observations of Mr Jones so alarmed him that he insisted on conducting a physical examination of Mr Jones”, says the filing.

“He immediately advised Mr. Jones to go to an emergency room or call 911. After Mr Jones refused, the physician advised him to stay home, which Mr Jones did not do.”

The court document says that Dr Marble then arranged for Mr Jones to undergo “a comprehensive medical workup” on Wednesday with a second doctor Dr Amy Offutt.

After evaluating Mr Jones, Dr Offutt told him he should “avoid too much stress until we have the results of the blood tests” and advised him not to attend the deposition.

“I stand by my recommendation that Mr Jones neither attend a deposition nor return to work until the test results are completed and returned,” said Dr Marble in his sworn statement.

He added that he believes “Mr Jones stands at serious risk of harm”.

Dr Marble, a member of right-wing group America’s Frontline Doctors, pushed a conspiracy theory on Monday’s Infowars that Dr Fauci “created” Covid-19.

“We know he created this Frankenstein virus, this man-made virus,” said Dr Marble.

“Every Covid death is a murder by Dr death Fauci which is why I say he is the greatest mass murderer in the history of the world.”

Dr Marble then told Mr Jones that the Covid-19 vaccine is a “poison”.

The Florida-based physician created a free telehealth website for Covid-19, which touts unsubstantiated treatments for the virus including the use of anti-parasite drug ivermectin.

The US FDA advises people not to use ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19, saying there is no evidence that it is an effective treatment.

The agency has warned that it has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalisation, after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for livestock.

The Independent has reached out to Dr Marble for comment.

Even with the identities of the doctors detailed in Wednesday’s motion to delay proceedings, the judge denied it, pointing out that Mr Jones was continuing to record his shows while claiming to be sick.

The deposition is part of settlement proceedings in lawsuits he lost against the families of victims killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Mr Jones was found guilty of defamation in multiple cases after he claimed the massacre that claimed 26 innocent lives was “a giant hoax” and that the six and seven-year-old children murdered were “actors”.

On 14 December 2012, 20 students aged six and seven years old and six staff members were shot and killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

In the aftermath, Mr Jones made several false claims on his show and through his website that the mass shooting was a “false flag” operation engineered by the government to bring about stricter gun control laws.

The families of Sandy Hook victims were subjected to years of in-person and online harassment over his false claims, all the while Mr Jones financially profited by spreading the conspiracies.

Several defamation lawsuits were brought by the families of some of the victims with Mr Jones being found guilty by default in the final suit in November.

The suits will now head to jury trials to decide how much he has to pay them for damages and legal fees.

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