WATERBURY, Conn. (CN) — A 9 a.m. deposition for Alex Jones came and went Thursday after the conservative radio host failed to show for questioning about his public insistence that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax.
Judge Barbara Bellis had ordered Jones to show up for his scheduled deposition only a day earlier in furtherance of a defamation lawsuit brought by the families of the victims of shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, who say they have faced years of harassment because of the conspiracy theories peddled by the Infowars creator.
“Should Mr. Jones fail to appear for the deposition tomorrow, he will be in direct contempt of the court’s orders requiring him to appear for his deposition,” Waterbury Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis wrote.
On Thursday, a one-sentence notice states that Jones missed the deposition scheduled in his home town of Austin, Texas.
Jones has already lost the defamation lawsuit in Connecticut. Because he failed to turn over information about his websites and disclose financial documents, Bellis sanctioned Jones in November: default judgment. The upcoming trial is supposed to determine the damages available to the Sandy Hook families.
Jones was scheduled to begin his deposition on Wednesday but failed to show up for the first day of questioning.
Speaking with reporters that afternoon, Christopher Mattei, who is one of the attorneys representing the Sandy Hook families, said they are asking the Connecticut court to issue a capias, the equivalent of a bench warrant, to arrest Jones to compel him to testify.
Mattei added that the individuals suing Jones have sat for depositions.
“This was a cowardly display intended to cheat the plaintiffs of their right to put him under oath and ask him questions,” Mattei said.
Jones’ absence comes after his attorneys argued in an emergency hearing Tuesday that Jones was too ill to sit for a deposition. A letter, purportedly sent by a doctor, said Jones was at home resting — doctor’s orders. Jones’ attorney Kevin Smith said he was authorized to share the letter with Bellis, but not the attorneys representing the Sandy Hook families.
Addressed "To Whom It May Concern" and otherwise lacking an address or letterhead, the letter dated March 21, 2022, consisted of just seven sentences. Judge Bellis questioned Smith about how she could be sure the “bare-bones note” was genuine.
Mattei said the letter was Jones’ attempt to disrupt preparations for his deposition. The attorney had checked a couple minutes before: Jones was in his studio broadcasting as the judge was presiding over the emergency hearing to determine whether Jones’ alleged medical illness would prevent a deposition.
The judge took a break to allow Jones’ attorneys to determine Jones’ location.
Meanwhile, sitting at a wide, arching desk in his studio, Jones was trying to raise $80,000 for legal battles, directing listeners to a website that would direct them to a campaign on the crowdfunding website Give Send Go. The campaign was purportedly to benefit Genesis Communications Network, one of the groups named in the defamation suit against Jones.
“I'll pay for it. I don't have that extra money right now, but I'll get it one way or another,” Jones said on his show. “I sold my house, I'm gonna put all the money in to keep this place going the last three months, that's fine. But I mean, we're down to the wire.”
The next day, Jones’ attorneys filed a notice with the court: Yes, Jones had been in his studio while the emergency hearing was going on.
In the end, Bellis denied Jones’ request for protective order that would excuse him from the deposition.
“The medical issues, while potentially serious, are not currently serious enough to either require his hospitalization, or convince him to stop engaging in his broadcasts. Mr. Jones cannot unilaterally decide to continue to engage in his broadcasts, but refuse to participate in a deposition.,” Bellis wrote Wednesday, denying Jones’ request for relief from deposition.
Jones’ attorneys said in another court filing that a doctor who saw Jones on Sunday was alarmed by Jones' condition. The doctor told Jones to call 911 or go to an emergency room. Immediately.
Jones allegedly said no.
The doctor told Jones to stay home and ordered “a comprehensive medical workup,” Jones attorneys wrote.
Jones instead went to his studio.
Attorneys for Jones say that the doctor believes that Jones should stay home, away from both deposition room and studio, until the tests come back. The doctor “opines that Mr. Jones stands at serious risk of harm," they wrote.Follow @jcksndnl
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