show up or pay up
A Connecticut judge found far-right conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones in contempt on Wednesday, after he failed to comply with orders to sit for a deposition as part of a lawsuit brought by families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims.
Judge Barbara Bellis of Connecticut Superior Court ordered that Jones receive a fine of $25,000 for the first weekday he fails to appear for his testimony, starting Friday. The fine will increase by $25,000 every weekday thereafter that he does not show up, The New York Times reports. If he still hasn't testified by April 15, Bellis will impose additional sanctions against him, which could include revoking his ability to present evidence in the trial.
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 first grade students and six educators were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones has spent years spreading false claims about the mass shooting, including that the victims were "crisis actors." Jones is facing three lawsuits in connection with his Sandy Hook comments, and the Connecticut suit was filed by the families of eight victims and an FBI agent.
On Tuesday, Jones' lawyers filed an "offer of compromise" in Connecticut, offering to pay $120,000 to each Sandy Hook plaintiff. The proposal was rejected by the families, who called it "a transparent and desperate attempt by Alex Jones to escape a public reckoning under oath with his deceitful, profit-driven campaign against the plaintiffs and the memory of their loved ones lost at Sandy Hook."