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Opening arguments begin in the Alex Jones Sandy Hook trial in Connecticut

Alex Jones
J. Scott Applewhite
/
Associated Press
This Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, file photo shows radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at Capitol Hill in Washington.

The trial for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who called the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting a hoax, began Tuesday in Waterbury Superior Court.

A jury will decide how much Jones should pay relatives of the victims for his repeated claims about the tragedy.

This is the second trial for Jones, who was ordered by a Texas jury last month to pay nearly $50 million to the parents of one of the children killed in the 2012 massacre.

“Just use your common sense and your life experience to come together as a community," said Chris Mattei in his opening statement to the jury. Mattei is serving as a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families.

"Hold Alex Jones accountable for what he did in the minutes, the hours, the days, the months and the years after the worst thing that could happen to this community," he added.

Norm Pattis, Jones’ defense attorney said the claims made by the Sandy Hook families are exaggerated and a collective effort to silence the former InfoWars host for good.

“Money is their weapon," said Pattis. "Follow the law, you’ll vex him. First they came for Alex Jones. Who’s next?”

Jones did not attend the opening of the trial, but stated on his show Monday that he will be in Connecticut sometime next week. The trial is expected to last about a month.

Jones has spent $10 million in legal fees and lost $20 million in product sales in defamation cases.

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.