American conspirator back in court for denying massacre
American conspirator Alex Jones, already sentenced to pay nearly 50 million dollars for denying a massacre in a school, risks seeing the bill increased during a second trial which opened on Tuesday 30 kilometers from the site of the tragedy. .
A Connecticut court began hearings in Waterbury, a half-hour drive from Sandy Hook School in Newton where, in 2012, a young man armed with a semi-automatic rifle killed 20 children and six adults.
The killing had aroused fear in the United States and revived the debate on measures to regulate firearms sales.
Alex Jones, a well-known figure on the far right and follower of conspiracy theories, had, against all evidence, affirmed on his Infowars site that the massacre was only a staging piloted by opponents of firearms, and the grieving parents of the « actors ».
Several victims then sued for defamation, explaining that they were harassed by admirers of Alex Jones anxious to “flush out” the lie.
A couple, whose six-year-old son was mowed down in Sandy Hook, had filed a lawsuit in Texas, where Alex Jones is based. Eight other families, as well as a federal police officer, had seized Connecticut justice in parallel.
The conspirator had finally publicly admitted the reality of the killing. But he refused to cooperate with the courts, so magistrates in both states convicted him in absentia.
However, they had left it to jurors to set the sentence. At the end of the first trial, held this summer in Texas, Alex Jones was sentenced to pay a fine of $45.2 million and $4 million in damages.
The second, opened Tuesday in Connecticut, should last five weeks and immediately gave rise to a very political pass of arms between the two camps.
One of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Chris Mattei, asked jurors to make Alex Jones pay for ‘what he did in the minutes, hours, days, months and years after the worst thing ever arrived in this community.
“If you don’t stop a stalker, he won’t stop himself,” he said, citing a whole series of conspiracy theories hammered out by Alex Jones on Infowars.
“You are being asked to do something that is not your mission,” retorted defense lawyer Norm Pattis. “You are being asked to turn money into a political weapon,” he continued, contesting the scope of the wrongs suffered by the plaintiffs.