A Texas jury began hearing testimony on Tuesday in a civil trial against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who is accused of defaming parents of the victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The defamation trial is over comments he made on his news platform Infowars.com. Jones repeatedly called the casualty event a “hoax,” despite the deaths of 20 children and seven adults.
Lawyers for the parents of the victims are expected to ask for more than $150 million in "compensatory and punitive damages," according to a report from the Associated Press.
“They were the most dangerous. That’s where we put Alex Jones,” Connecticut State Police Detective Daniel Jewiss told the jury on the first day of testimony, according to AP. "It’s absolutely horrific the amount of trauma they’ve had to endure in the wake of having lost a loved one."
The trial will determine how much Jones, who hosts Infowars, owes for defaming one child's parents, whose six-year-old son died in the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
Jones' attorneys have recently claimed he is suffering from a medical condition and it was uncertain if he would be attending. However, during a short break at trial Tuesday, he emerged from the courtroom wearing a duct tape mask that read “Save the 2nd,” and after removing it, he spoke to the press for over six minutes. Here's a look at some of that footage.
One of the attorneys representing the families in Texas, also spoke with the press Tuesday stating, "We’re very glad the day is here. We’re looking forward to telling our clients’ story.”
The Texas trial is expected to last two weeks. Jones is also facing a separate defamation case for the families of the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut in which damages have yet to be awarded.