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Alex Jones will return to the booth in Connecticut next week

WATERBURY, Conn. — Lawyers in Alex Jones’ libel trial agreed Friday not to return him to the stand until next week after a controversial day of testimony Thursday about his promotion of the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

Jones’ attorney, Norm Pattis, told the judge he would waive his right to cross-examine Jones and instead call him back as a defense witness next week.

“We think this will streamline the process, lower the temperature level and help the jury focus on what they have to decide,” Pattis said.

On his first day of testimony Thursday, Jones had a heated exchange with plaintiff attorney Christopher Mattei, accusing the attorney of “chasing ambulances” and saying he was no longer apologizing for claiming the shooting was staged. In recent years, Jones has acknowledged that the massacre occurred, but says the victims’ families are being used to push an anti-gun control and anti-free speech agenda.

Outside the courtroom and on his Infowars show, Jones referred to the proceedings as a “show trial” and a “kangaroo court” and called Judge Barbara Bellis a tyrant, posting an image of her with lasers shooting from her eyes. .

Jones was still complaining about the case and the limits of what he can say outside the courthouse on Friday.

“Basically, it would be like a boxing match where a guy has his arms tied behind his back and a gag in his mouth,” he said. “So this is totally rigged. It’s an absolute total fraud.”

Twenty children and six educators were killed in the shooting nearly a decade ago in Newtown, Connecticut. The plaintiffs in this trial, taking place about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away in Waterbury, include relatives of eight of the victims and an FBI agent who responded to the massacre.

The trial was scheduled to continue Friday with other plaintiff witnesses.

Jones was found liable last year for failing to pay damages to the plaintiffs without a trial, a consequence of what the judge called his repeated failures to provide documents to his attorneys. The six-member jury is now deciding how much Jones and Free Speech Systems, parent of Jones’ Infowars media platforms, should pay the families for defaming them and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.

Pattis argues that any damage must be limited and accused the families of the victims of exaggerating the damage caused by the lies.

Bellis directed Jones not to mention several issues in his testimony, including free speech rights, the percentage of Jones’s shows that discussed Sandy Hook, and whether he profited from those shows or from a similar case in Texas.

A jury in that case last month in Austin, Texas, ordered Jones to pay nearly $50 million in damages to the parents of one of the children killed in the shooting. A third trial in Texas is expected to begin near the end of the year.

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This story has been corrected to show that the plaintiffs include family members of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, not eight of the children killed.

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Associated Press writer Michael Hill contributed to this report from Waterbury.

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