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Alex Jones trial - live: Infowars host flees Sandy Hook hoax defamation case on private jet

Sandy Hook father holds backs tears testifying about Alex Jones

Alex Jones’ has fled Connecticut on a private jet as he was due to testify for a second time in his defamation trial for spreading “hoax” lies about the Sandy Hook massacre.

The Infowars host “packed up his entourage” and returned to Texas ahead of the resumption of his trial on Wednesday, according to New York Times reporter Elizabeth Williamson.

The jury has been dismissed for the day, and will return on Thursday to begin deliberating how much to award eight Sandy Hook families in damages.

Several parents testified during the four week trial of being confronted by supporters of Mr Jones who accused them of faking the tragedy.

The families have already won a default ruling in the defamation suit.

In August, a jury in Texas awarded nearly $50m to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son  Jesse Lewis was among the 26 victims of the 2012 school mass shooting.


ICYMI: John Oliver eviscerates Alex Jones over Sandy Hook defamation trial

After a Texas jury awarded a Sandy Hook family nearly $50m in damages at his first defamation trial in August, late night host John Oliver took aim at the conspiracy theorist.

Read Tom Murray’s full report here.

‘Guess what, Alex? You f***ed with info and this time info f***ing won,’ Oliver said


ICYMI: Alex Jones will 'never stop' unless he's held responsible

In opening arguments, lawyers for the Sandy Hook families described Alex Jones as a bully who would never stop spreading harmful lies until he’s held responsible.

“Unless you stand up to bullies, a bully will never stop,” attorney Chris Mattei said.

Read the full report here.

‘Unless you stand up to bullies, a bully will never stop,’ lawyer says


ICYMI: Depp’s lawyer says ‘lies are not protected'

Last week Johnny Depp’s attorney weighed in on Alex Jones’s latest defamation trial over the Sandy Hook massacre, saying that “lies are not protected” by the First Amendment.

Read Rachel Sharp’s report.

‘This is the United States and lies which hurt people – especially heinous lies, horrific lies, are not and have never been protected under the First Amendment,’ says Benjamin Chew


How can you put a price on suffering?

The jury will begin deliberations on Thursday to determine how much Alex Jones must pay to the Sandy Hook families for spreading wild and defamatory conspiracy theories about the tragic 2012 shooting.

Here, the Associated Press explores that unenviable task.

A Connecticut jury soon will have the difficult task of coming up with a dollar amount conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay for promoting the idea that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax


ICYMI: Sandy Hook father says he felt like he ‘failed’ his slain daughter

Last week, Robbie Parker took to the witness stand to testify that he believed he was “failing” six-year-old Emilie’s memory as Alex Jones lies continued to spread lies about her.

Read more about Mr Parker’s heartbreaking testimony in Rachel Sharp’s report.

Robbie Parker testified that seeing the far-right extremist continue to spread lies about the families of Parkland was a ‘big catalyst’ to him to ‘fight’


Jones’ lawyer seeks directed verdict from judge, claims insufficient evidence

Alex Jones’ attorney Norm Pattis is asking Judge Barbara Bellis to direct the jury to find that Sandy Hook families failed to prove their case.

Mr Pattis says an adverse finding for his client would have a chilling effect on free speech.


Jury dismisses jury

Judge Barbara Bellis thanks the jury for their attendance and dismisses them for the rest of the day.

They will return tomorrow to hear closing arguments before beginning their deliberations.

Once again, Alex Jones’ theatrics - first stating he will testify, before fleeing home to Texas by private jet - has disrupted the court schedule.


Jury played clips of Alex Jones saying Sandy Hook was staged

The jury is being played clips of Alex Jones stating that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was staged.

The deaths of 26 students and teachers “was completely fake, synthetic, with actors”, Mr Jones states in the Infowars clip.

In another video from this week, Mr Jones states that “the trial is rigged and the whole thing is staged”.


Judge informs jury that the evidence will wrap up today

After lengthy discussions between the lawyers, the jury has entered the courtroom.

Judge Barbara Bellis informed the jury that Alex Jones would not be taking the witness stand, and evidence would wrap up this morning.

They will then be sent home, and will begin deliberations on Thursday.


Alex Jones’ lawyer says he has chosen to ‘boycott’ trial as hearing resumes

Norm Pattis, Alex Jones’ lawyer, has told the judge his client has “chosen to boycott” the trial.

The NYT’s Elizabeth Williamson is reporting from the courtroom in Waterbury Connecticut as the hearing resumed on Wednesday.

She reports that Judge Bellis “is not having any of that”, and is working out what to tell the jury about Mr Jones’ absence.