HARTFORD, Conn. -- Infowars host Alex Jones failed to show up and testify under oath at a deposition Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, leading the families' lawyer to call for Jones' arrest if he doesn't appear again Thursday.
Jones, whose attorney said he missed the deposition because of an appointment for undisclosed medical conditions, was scheduled to testify Wednesday and Thursday in Austin, Texas, where Infowars is based, in connection with the relatives’ defamation lawsuit against him for calling the 2012 school massacre a hoax.
Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis found Jones liable for damages in November. A trial on how much he should pay the families is set to begin in August.
Bellis on Wednesday ordered Jones to appear at the deposition Thursday and asked lawyers to submit briefs on whether she can issue an arrest order to have Jones brought to the proceeding if he fails to attend again. If Bellis doesn't issue such an order, Mattei said he would seek a subpoena in Texas. Bellis also said Jones needs to submit medical documentation if he can't attend Thursday, Mattei said.
“This, in our view, was a cowardly display intended to cheat the plaintiffs of their right to put him under oath,” Mattei said at a news conference, “and ask him questions about why over the course of many years he lied about them, he lied about the loved ones that they lost at Sandy Hook and why he unleashed a barrage of harassment over many years that continues to this day.”
Asked whether Jones would appear at the deposition Thursday, his lawyer, Norman Pattis, said in an email to The Associated Press that “his doctors will make that call.”
In a court filing later Wednesday, Pattis wrote Jones' doctor was “so alarmed” by his observations of Jones on Monday that he advised him to go to an emergency room or call 911. Jones refused and his doctor advised him to stay home, Pattis said.
On Tuesday, however, Jones broadcasted his daily website show at the Infowars studio in Austin, his lawyers said. He did not appear in person on the show Wednesday, but talked over the phone for portions of the program. He did not discuss the deposition or his medical conditions at the beginning of the show.
The doctor scheduled a “comprehensive medical workup” on Jones for Wednesday, and remains convinced that Jones should not attend a deposition or return to work, Pattis wrote.
Twenty first graders and six educators were killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting. The families of eight of the victims and an FBI agent who responded to school sued Jones, Infowars and others, saying they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy.