The proceedings of Alex Jones’ Connecticut defamation trial rapidly spiraled out of control on Thursday in the final few minutes of the conspiracy theorist’s first day of testimony.
On the stand, Jones caused so many objections and sidebars that the presiding judge at one point turned to the jury and told them, “You’re going to get your exercise in today, those of you who wear Fitbits.”
But his antics worsened after the court was shown clips of Jones mocking the parents of the children killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School as “crisis actors.”
A heated exchange kicked off as Chris Mattei, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, played footage of a distraught parent, prompting an irate Jones to yell out that he was “done apologizing” for repeatedly claiming the shooting was staged.
Mattei had told Jones his actions had painted a “target on the back” of one parent, Robbie Parker, in the wake of the tragedy, adding, “These are real people.”
“Just like all the Iraqis that you liberals killed and love,” Jones huffed in response. “You are unbelievable. You switch emotions on and off as you want, it is just ambulance chasing.”
“Why don’t you show a bit of respect?” Mattei responded, pointing out that grieving families were in the court and watching Jones speak.
“Is this a struggle session, are we in China? I’ve already said sorry hundreds of times, and I am done saying I am sorry,” Jones spat. “I didn’t generate this. I wasn’t the first person to say it... I legitimately thought it might have been staged and I stand by that. I don’t apologize for it.”
Judge Barbara Bellis, who Jones acknowledged that he had called a “tyrant” on his show, appeared visibly frustrated by the 48-year-old InfoWars founder at various points throughout the day, calling at least one sidebar with his legal team to discuss how they might control the conspiracy theorist.
“Do you want me to stop your client from speaking?” she asked his attorney at another point. “Physically, do you want me to stop him from speaking?”
The Connecticut trial will determine exactly how much Jones owes to the families of eight victims and one federal agent who responded to the shooting. It comes a month after a jury in Texas determined that Jones would pay nearly $50 million in damages to the parents of one of the Sandy Hook victims.
Bellis closed the court for the day by asking Jones and his lawyer, “How are we going to avoid this problem tomorrow?” As his attorney shuffled out of the courtroom, a New York Times reporter overheard him mumbling, “I’m not my client’s keeper.”