A Connecticut judge ruled on Wednesday that Infowars host Alex Jones could face fines of $25,000 per weekday which would increase by $25,000 each additional day beginning Friday if he continues to skip depositions in the lawsuit over Jones’ claims about the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, Judge Barbara Bellis confirmed.
Jones has skipped the scheduled deposition on the grounds that he is too sick to be questioned, however Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove Jones’ alleged illness was real and held him in contempt of court.
“The court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant, Alex Jones, willfully and in bad faith violated without justification several clear court orders requiring his attendance at his depositions,” Bellis said during a court hearing held by video conference.
Bellis, who is a judge at Waterbury Superior Court, also ordered the deposition to be held at the Bridgeport, Connecticut, office of the families’ lawyers, instead of Austin, Texas, where it was scheduled last week.
Bellis has denied a request by lawyers for the Sandy Hook families to order Jones arrested and detained until he could appear at a deposition. The attorneys first made the request last week. Jones’ lawyer, Norman Pattis, criticized Bellis’ ruling and planned to appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court on Thursday.
“The judge’s order is shocking and an insult to the medical doctor who advised Alex not to attend court proceedings,” Pattis said in an email to The Associated Press. “We regard the order as lawless and unprecedented.”
Christopher Mattei, who is a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families, said during the hearing that the families were seeking penalties because Jones violated court orders and appeared to be attempting to avoid the deposition.
“So, what we’ve tried to do … is change that calculus, make it clear to Mr. Jones that the penalties that will accrue to him as a result of his further noncompliance are not worth it and that he should sit for deposition in order to avoid them,” Mattei said.
A new deposition date was not immediately set. Cameron Atkinson, another Jones lawyer, said Jones would next be available to testify on April 11.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE