Alex Jones claims his furious Sandy Hook trial rant at crying victim families ‘destroyed’ their lawyer

Infowars host raged at reporters as his defence declined to call him for cross-examination after he lost his temper on the witness stand

Megan Sheets ,Rachel Sharp
Friday 23 September 2022 22:23 BST
Alex Jones unleashes rant as Sandy Hook lawyer points out victims’ families in court

Alex Jones has bizarrely claimed that his irate outburst during testimony at the second defamation trial over his Sandy Hook hoax lies did more damage to the opposition than himself.

The Infowars host fumed at reporters outside the court in Waterbury, Connecticut, on Friday morning as his defence attorney Norm Pattis was inside telling the judge he would waive the right to cross examine Mr Jones.

Mr Pattis said he hoped the move would “lower the temperature” in court and that Mr Jones will take the stand at a later point in the trial as a witness for the defence.

Tensions flared on Thursday afternoon as Mr Jones, under direct examination by plaintiffs’ attorney Christopher Mattei, shouted that he was “done apologising” for his egregious claims about the 2012 mass shooting.

He lost his temper after Mr Mattei asserted that he put a “target on the back” of victims’ families by calling them “crisis actors” in the 2012 elementary school shooting he branded a hoax in broadcasts to millions.

“I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times. And I’m done saying sorry,” Mr Jones shouted across the courtroom.

The far-right conspiracy theorist – who has spent much of the trial mocking the proceedings on his Infowars show – vowed that he “won’t apologise” for his actions as he complained that “people think that I killed the kids”.

Mr Jones and Mr Mattei continued to spar for several minutes - as families wiped away tears in the gallery - before Judge Barbara Bellis finally brought proceedings back under control.

Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, Mr Jones asserted that his defence chose not to cross-examine him because there was “no need”.

“Chris Mattei completely destroyed himself with a bunch of twisted information and lies,” he said of the testimony.

“I was barred from defending myself, so I just had to sit there while he lied and lied and lied. Then he had this big Perry Mason moment where he blew up and started screaming at me.”

He said the judge “couldn’t sanction me because she wasn’t willing to sanction him” and claimed his lawyer told him afterward: “If you would’ve done what Chris Mattei did, you would’ve  been in jail guaranteed.”

Mr Jones added: “Chris Mattei already has the trial rigged, he already has it where I can’t put on evidence, and then he screams at me for five minutes, and all I do is respond and say: ‘You’re an ambulance chaser, you’re a despicable person’ right back to him while he pretends that I’m the devil.”

Elsewhere in his impromptu press conference, Mr Jones urged jurors to do their own research on the case - which is expressly prohibited by the court. The plaintiffs’ brought those comments before the judge, asking that she take action to prevent that from happening.

Thursday’s dramatic scene unfolded as Mr Mattei confronted Mr Jones with the people who he accused of being “crisis actors” almost as soon as their children and loved ones were murdered in one of the worst school shootings in US history.

Jurors were shown heartbreaking footage of Robbie Parker speaking to reporters one day after the 2012 massacre.

Mr Parker’s six-year-old daughter Emilie was one of the 26 students and staff members murdered in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

He choked back tears as he paid tribute to his little girl who “made the world a better place” for being in it.

After jurors watched the heavy footage, Mr Mattei pointed out Mr Parker in the courtroom and asked Mr Jones if “Robbie Parker is real”.

The right-wing extremist admitted “yes” – after he spent years claiming that the parents of the murder victims were “crisis actors” whose children never even existed.

“For years you put a target on his back, didn’t you?... Just like you did every single parent and loved one sitting here,” said Mr Mattei.

Mr Jones denied that this and tried to argue that he hadn’t named the family members specificially.

When Mr Mattei told Mr Jones that “these are real people”, the Infowars host launched into an unhinged rant about “liberals” and “Iraqis” before asking if he was “in China”.

“Just like all the Iraqis that you liberals killed and love. You are unbelievable. You switch emotions on and off as you want, it is just ambulance chasing,” he ranted.

Mr Mattei told the conspiracy theorist to “show a bit of respect’ as family members of the victims killed in the 2012 massacre sat in the courtroom hearing his diatribe.

“You have families in the court that lost children, sisters, wives, moms,” said Mr Mattei.

Unmoved by the statement, Mr Jones lost his temper and went on the defensive, vowing not to apologise again for the pain he has caused and doubling down that he “legitimately” believed his own lies when he first said them.

“Is this a struggle session, are we in China? I’ve already said sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I am sorry. I didn’t generate this, I was not the first person to say it... but I legitimately thought it might have been staged so I stand by that. And I won’t apologise for it,” he fumed.

“I have already apologised to the parents over and over again, I am not apologising to you. I do not apologise to you.”

While Mr Jones and Mr Mattei increasingly sparred, Mr Jones’s attorney began shouting “objection” repeatedly over the ruckus.

Judge Barbara Bellis ended up warning both attorneys about their conduct in a sidebar, before telling Mr Jones to “respect” the court and reminding him that the courtroom is “not your show”.

“This is not a press conference, this is clearly not your show. You need to respect the process,” she told him.

Mr Mattei went on to ask Mr Jones if there will be more mass shootings in future, to which he jumped on the defence again, suggesting the attorney was accusing him of carrying out an attack.

“Are you saying I am going to shoot someone? How do I know? Like it’s my fault, people think I killed the kids,” he fired back, before acknowledging that “there probably will be”.

Mr Mattei grilled Mr Jones about whether he is going to continue spreading lies about victims of future mass shootings.

Jurors were presented with content posted on Infowars just three weeks ago showing that he continues to push the false claim that mass shootings may be staged.

In a survey on the website, viewers were asked “What will be the most likely deep state false flag ahead of midterms?”

Among the four multiple choice answers, the top one read: “Mass shooting.”

“Whenever the next mass shooting strikes we all know what you’re going to do... You’re already conditioning your audience that it is staged,” Mr Mattei said.

“You’re inviting your audience even now that the next people - the next Robbie Parker - is an actor.”

Mr Jones began spouting false claims just hours after the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, claiming on his conspiracy site that the mass shooting was “a giant hoax” and that the victims were “actors”.

He continued to push the lies to his followers for years claiming it was a “false flag” operation.

While Mr Jones profited financially from spreading his lies, the victims’ families were subjected to years of in-person and online harassment and threats from his followers.

Speaking to reporters outside the court on Friday morning, Mr Jones ranted about the basis of the case, saying he was found guilty by default despite there being “no evidence” he defamed the plaintiffs.

“That’s why I call this a show trial. It’s a trial for damages, not a trial where I’m able to put up evidence. That’s not the American way,” he fumed.

“There’s a saying: ‘It’s better that 10 guilty men go to prison than one innocent man go to jail.’ And I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes and I’ve apologised many times.

“But imagine the precedent-setting case, where they’re weaponising the judiciary and giving people defaults - after they comply with excruciating discovery - so that you can’t defend yourself, and then use the very evidence you gave them against you, but then you can’t even talk about that evidence.”

“This is basically as rigged as you can get.”

This marks the second defamation trial from a lawsuit that Mr Jones lost with Sandy Hook victims’ families.

In a Texas trial last month, Mr Jones admitted that he knew the 2012 massacre was real – and not a “hoax” as he had previously claimed it was.

In that case, he was ordered to pay $4.11m in compensatory damages and $45.2m in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of six-year-old victim Jesse Lewis.

Now, jurors in Connecticut will decide how much Mr Jones must pay those families in damages.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in