The judge in the Sandy Hook trial against Alex Jones joked that she will “call in sick” when the far-right conspiracy theorist takes the stand to testify.
The hilarious exchange took place in a Connecticut court on Wednesday during a sidebar between Judge Barbara Bellis and Mr. Jones’ attorney Norm Pattis.
Pattis told the judge that his client will appear in court on Thursday to testify before the jury, which will decide how much compensation to pay the families of the victims of the 2012 massacre for the lies he spread.
Before Mr. Pattis could finish what he said, Judge Bellis intervened: “I call in sick.”
When Mr. Jones’s attorney began to laugh awkwardly at her comments, the judge doubled down. “I’m not kidding,” she added.
Her comments came as Mr. Jones repeatedly disrespected the judge, both during his Infowars show and in raging rants outside the courthouse since his second defamation trial began on Sept. 13.
On Tuesday, the right-wing extremist began a furious rant outside court, where he labeled Judge Bellis a “tyrant” and insisted that he not spread lies about the mass shooting “on purpose.”
“This is a mockery of justice and this judge is a tyrant,” he said furiously.
“This judge orders me to say I’m guilty and say I’m a liar. None of that is true. I wasn’t wrong about Sandy Hook on purpose.
He went on to make a bizarre connection with Jussie Smollett, who was famous for faking an incident where he said he was the victim of a racist attack.
“I doubted it just like Jussie Smollett, like WMD in Iraq, like the Gulf of Tonkin,” he said.
“There have been many staged events in history, such as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and I doubt every major event we see, and so I am put in an impossible position in this courthouse where I have to say I am guilty.”
He went on to claim that “the judiciary is armed” and that the trial is a “battle session just outside South Africa or Communist China”.
In a follow-up on Wednesday, he targeted the media for their coverage of developments in his company’s bankruptcy case.
His latest rant came after the court received evidence last week that Mr Jones mocked Judge Bellis and called the trial a “kangaroo court” on the same platform he used to spread lies about the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. .
In court on Friday, Christopher Mattei, an attorney for the victims’ families, showed the court a screenshot taken from the Infowars website that week.
The photo showed Judge Bellis with red lasers for eyes, with the word “CONTEMPT!” plastered over it.
A caption reads, “Alex Jones kangaroo court watch: Day 1.”
Mr. Mattei asked witness Brittany Paz about the image and wondered if Infowars and parent company Free Speech Systems were taking the process seriously.
“Did Alex Jones call this court a kangaroo job this week?” he asked.
Ms. Paz, a lawyer hired by Mr. Jones to represent his company’s operations in court, claimed she did not know.
“Does Infowars take this process seriously?” Mr Mattei continued.
Ms Paz insisted that “I take it seriously”.
The far-right conspiracy theorist was set to take a stand on Wednesday to testify, but that is now expected on Thursday.
At his latest trial in Texas last month, Mr. Jones admitted he knew the 2012 massacre was real — and not a “hoax” as he previously claimed it was.
In that case, he was ordered to pay $4.11 million in damages and $45.2 million in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of six-year-old victim Jesse Lewis.
Jones was successfully sued by the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in multiple lawsuits.
Mr. Jones began spouting false claims almost immediately after the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, claiming on his conspiracy site that the mass shooting was “a giant hoax” and that the victims were “actors.”
He continued to spread the lies to his followers for years, claiming it was a “false flag” operation.
While Mr Jones profited financially from spreading his lies, the victims’ families were harassed and threatened in person and online for years by his followers.
The Texas suit went first for the trial last month.
Now jurors in Connecticut will decide how much Mr. Jones should pay those families in damages.