WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Alex Jones returned to Waterbury Tuesday as more family members of Sandy Hook shooting victims took the stand in the conspiracy theorist’s defamation trial over claims the 2012 school shooting was a hoax.
A six-member jury and several alternates will determine how much Jones and Free Speech Systems, Infowars’ parent company, should pay relatives of eight victims and an FBI agent for claiming that the December 2012 shooting was a hoax. Judge Barbara Bellis found Jones liable without a trial last year after he failed to turn over documents to the families’ lawyers.
Francine Wheeler, the mother of victim Ben Wheeler, told the jury Tuesday it has been hard enough to live with her son’s death.
“It’s quite another thing when people take everything about your boy, who is gone, and your surviving child and your husband and everything you ever did in your life that is on the Internet and harass you and make fun of you,” she said.
Relatives said the harassment has not stopped, despite nearly 10 years having passed since the shooting.
Jackie Barden, whose son Daniel was killed in the shooting, also testified Tuesday.
“I remember one saying they were at Daniel’s grave, and they peed on his grave because they didn’t believe Daniel was buried.”
Jones testified last month during the plaintiffs’ presentation and admitted calling parents “crisis actors” on his show and saying the shooting was “phony as a three-dollar bill.”
Outside the courthouse Tuesday, Jones once again told reporters that the trial was rigged and the default ruling was a lie. Norm Pattis, Jones’ attorney, had been expected to call Jones as a defense witness Wednesday, but it’s now unclear if he will return to the stand.
“I’m not sure I’ll even go on the stand tomorrow [Wednesday] because it’s a trap!” Jones said. “It’s a spiderweb! It’s a fraud!”
In cross-examining witnesses throughout the trial, Pattis has tried to show that Jones wasn’t directly linked to many instances of harassment and threats, and he has accused the victims’ relatives of exaggerating.
The trial is expected to last until mid-October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.