Alex Jones tells Sandy Hook families ‘I’m done saying I’m sorry’

Trial taking place to determine defamation damages US conspiracy theorist must pay relatives of shooting victims

US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ initial day of testimony in a trial for damages after years of lying about the Sandy Hook shootings ended in chaos on Thursday.

Confronted with the harm he had done by repeatedly lying on his Infowars radio and online show that Robbie Parker, whose daughter Emilie died in the massacre, was an actor, Mr Jones erupted in a rant that drew a contempt threat by Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis.

“Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry, and I’m done saying I’m sorry,” Mr Jones responded, as his lawyer shouted objections.

Mr Jones for years spread lies on Infowars that the December 14th, 2012, shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was a government pretext for gun control.


Late last year, he lost four separate defamation lawsuits filed by the families of 10 Sandy Hook victims, who had endured years of online torment and threats from conspiracy theorists who believed Jones’ bogus claims. The families’ sweeping victory set in motion three trials for juries to decide how much Mr Jones must pay the families in compensatory and punitive damages.

The broadcaster was set off by Chris Mattei, a lawyer for the families of the Sandy Hook victims, who pointed to Mr Parker in the courtroom as he questioned Mr Jones on the stand.

“Robbie Parker’s sitting right here,” Mr Mattei said. “He’s real, isn’t he? And for years you put a target on his back, didn’t you? Just like you did every single parent and loved one sitting here.”

“No, I didn’t,” Mr Jones said.

“Why don’t you show a little respect, Mr Jones?” Mr Mattei said. “You have families in this courtroom here that lost children, sisters, wives, moms.”

Judge Bellis rebuked Mr Jones. “This is not a press conference, this is clearly not your show,” she said. “You have to respect the process.”

At the end of the day, after the jury had gone, she warned Mr Jones as well as his lawyer, Norm Pattis, that she would enforce a zero-tolerance policy Friday for ignoring her orders about decorum in the courtroom. Mr Pattis had repeatedly objected as his client shouted.

“You can expect a contempt hearing if anybody steps out of line,” Judge Bellis said. “And Mr. Jones, same thing.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.