Alex Jones jury begins deliberations in Sandy Hook defamation trial

The jury in Alex Jones’ defamation trial began deliberations Thursday after hearing closing arguments from attorneys representing the plaintiffs and the defendant Thursday in Waterbury, Conn.

Six jurors have listened to nearly four weeks of testimony from families victimized by Jones’ lies about the 2012 school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead in an elementary school 20 miles southwest of the courthouse. They will now decide on monetary damages that Jones will pay in punishment and compensation. The “Inforwars” host had claimed that the shooting was a hoax, leading to his followers tormenting the victims’ families, they said.

An attorney for the 15 plaintiffs began his closing statements Thursday by telling jurors that we’re all taught from a young age not to lie and to stand up to bullies like Jones.

“Because bullies will not stop,” lawyer Chris Mattei told jurors. “Especially if it is making them very, very rich.”

He argued that to calculate a figure for defamation damages, jurors should consider there are 15 victims suing in this case and Jones’ words have received 550 million views on social media. According to Mattei, conspiracy theorists who believe these victims were part of an act have not and likely will not relent in harassing them.

Speaking on Jones’ behalf, civil defense attorney Norm Pattis gave an unconventional closing argument that included an impersonation of his client. He referred to Jones as a “mad prophet,” and frustrated the judge by claiming the plaintiffs are looking for a pay day. Pattis conceded that there was a lot of emotion in the courtroom in recent weeks, but told jurors that “sympathy and emotion” should not be factored into the dollar amount the victims are awarded by the court.

“I’m proud to be at Alex’s side,” Pattis concluded after conceding the “Infowars” provocateur is “a despised human being.”

Jones, who had been expected to testify in cross-examination this week, instead reportedly took a private plane back to his home in Texas Wednesday. He was not in the courtroom Thursday when arguments wound down around 1 p.m. and rebuttals resumed an hour later.

A Texas jury awarded Sandy Hook families who sued Jones in his home state nearly $50 million last month. In both cases, he’d been found liable for his actions by default in 2021 after failing to comply with court orders in pretrial.

Outside the courthouse, Jones has called the legal proceeding against him as act of “tyranny” and complained he hasn’t been given a chance to defend himself.

Jurors in Connecticut could were given instructions late Monday afternoon to begin deliberations. Judge Barbara Bellis left the three men and three women who will determine Jones’ punishment to decide whether they wish to start their first full day of deliberations at 9 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. Friday. They chose the latter.