Update: Alex Jones will be fined $25,000 for each weekday that he fails to appear for a deposition in a lawsuit brought against him by the families of some of the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting. A Connecticut judge found him in contempt of court orders Wednesday and ordered the fines, which will start Friday, the AP reports. Lawyers for the Infowars host called the order "lawless and unprecedented," and one said the earliest date Jones could be available to testify is April 11. (Sandy Hook families also recently nixed Jones' settlement offer.)
This story has been updated with news of Jones' no-show on Thursday. On Tuesday, Connecticut state Judge Barbara Bellis seemed skeptical when she received a request from Alex Jones' defense team to once again delay his deposition, set for Wednesday in Austin, Texas. The Infowars founder had already postponed the deposition in his case—in which he's being sued for defamation by families of Sandy Hook victims for calling the 2012 shooting that killed 26 a hoax—several times since the fall. A big factor leading to Bellis' wariness, per Connecticut Public Radio: During Tuesday's proceedings, it was brought to her attention that the 48-year-old right-wing conspiracy theorist was, at that very moment, broadcasting his Alex Jones Show radio program live from his studio.
He was doing so despite his legal team telling the court he needed to put off the next day's deposition due to illness, and a doctor's recommendation that he stay at home to avoid "serious risk of harm," reports the Washington Post. Per a Monday court filing, Jones attorney Norman Pattis says that Jones told him he didn't want his condition revealed in the court records, nor the name of the doctor who's supposedly treating him. Plaintiff attorney Christopher Mattei called the delay request "completely bogus," and Bellis, while conceding the doctor's note did detail a "potentially serious" illness, more or less concurred. "Mr. Jones cannot unilaterally decide to continue to engage in his broadcasts, but refuse to participate in a deposition," she said in her decision to deny his request.
Instead, she ordered Jones to show up the next morning as planned. He didn't, and the AP notes he also didn't appear in person at his recording studio Wednesday, though he did call in. Bellis gave Jones one more chance to show up in person on Thursday to give his sworn testimony, but he was a no-show then as well. The judge had warned that if he was absent on Thursday as well, he could be held in contempt of court, and that attorneys for the plaintiffs could try to subpoena him and ask for sanctions, per the AP. The plaintiff's legal team had said Jones should have a warrant for his arrest issued if he blew off Thursday's deposition. Bellis has already ruled against Jones in the defamation case, but a jury still has to determine what damages he should pay, which is why his deposition is still needed. (Read more Alex Jones stories.)