WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Alex Jones was portrayed Tuesday by a lawyer for Sandy Hook families as a bully and by his own attorney as a crank in a town square who should be ignored as a trial got underway to determine how much the conspiracy theorist should pay the relatives for spreading the lie that the 2012 Newtown school shooting was a hoax.
The trial is being held in Waterbury, Connecticut, less than 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Newtown, where 26 children and teachers were shot to death.
It’s the second such trial for Jones, who was ordered by a Texas jury last month to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of one of the slain children. Jones was not at the trial Tuesday and is expected to attend next week.
A jury of three men and three women along with several alternates will decide how much Jones should pay relatives of eight victims and an FBI agent who responded to the school. Judge Barbara Bellis found Jones liable without a trial last year after he failed to turn over documents to the families’ lawyers.
More than a dozen family members, including parents of some victims, filed into the courtroom to listen to the opening statements and first day of evidence.
Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, showed jurors data indicating how Jones’ audience increased as he spread lies about the shooting. He showed them photos and videos of things Jones had said and told the panel they already had the tools from their own life experiences to decide what to do in thi