The judge in Alex Jones’s Sandy Hook defamation trial has joked that she’s going to “call in sick” when the far-right conspiracy theorist takes the stand to testify.
The hilarious exchange unfolded in a court in Connecticut on Wednesday during a sidebar between Judge Barbara Bellis and Mr Jones’s attorney Norm Pattis.
Mr Pattis told the judge that his client is going to be in court on Thursday to testify before the jury, who will decide how much damages Mr Jones must pay to the families of victims of the 2012 massacre because of the lies he spread about them.
Before Mr Pattis could finish what he was saying, Judge Bellis interjected: “I’m calling in sick.”
When Mr Jones’s attorney began to laugh awkwardly, the judge added: “I’m not joking.”
Her comments came as Mr Jones has repeatedly disrespected the judge on both his show and outside the courthouse since the trial began on 13 September.
On Wednesday, the right-wing extremist launched into a furious rant outside court where he branded Judge Bellis a “tyrant” and insisted he didn’t broadcast lies about the mass shooting “on purpose”.
“This is a travesty of justice and this judge is a tyrant,” he fumed.
“This judge is ordering me to say that I’m guilty and to say that I’m a liar. None of that’s true. I was not wrong about Sandy Hook on purpose.
He went on to make a bizarre connection with Jussie Smollett, who famously faked an incident where he said he was the victim of a racist attack.
“I questioned it just like Jussie Smollett, just like WMDs in Iraq, just like the Gulf of Tonkin,” he said,
“There have been a lot of staged events in history, like WMDs in Iraq, and I question every major event that we see, and so I’m being put in an impossible position inside of this courthouse where I’m being ordered to say I’m guilty.”
He went on to claim that “the judiciary has been weaponized” and that the trial is a “struggle session right outside of South Africa or Communist China”.
This latest tirade came after the court was shown evidence last week that Mr Jones had been mocking Judge Bellis and calling the trial a “kangaroo court” on the very same platform that he used to push lies about the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.
In court on Friday, Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the victims’ families, showed the court a screengrab which was taken from the Infowars website that week.
The picture showed Judge Bellis with red lasers for eyes, with the word “CONTEMPT!” plastered across it.
A caption reads: “Alex Jones kangaroo court watch: Day 1.”
Mr Mattei grilled witness Brittany Paz about the image, questioning whether Infowars and its parent company Free Speech Systems was taking the trial seriously.
“Has Alex Jones been calling this court a kangaroo court this week?” he asked.
Ms Paz, an attorney hired by Mr Jones to represent his company’s operations in court, claimed that she didn’t know.
“Is Infowars taking this trial seriously?” Mr Mattei continued.
Ms Paz insisted that “I’m taking it seriously”.
The far-right conspiracy theorist had been expected to take the stand to testify on Wednesday but is now expected to do so on Thursday.
At his last trial in Texas last month, Mr Jones admitted that he knew the 2012 massacre was real – and not a “hoax” as he had 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.
Mr Jones was successfully sued by the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in multiple lawsuits.
Mr Jones had began spouting false claims almost immediately 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.
The Texas suit was the first to go to trial last month.
Now, jurors in Connecticut will decide how much Mr Jones must pay those families in damages.
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