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Alex Jones missed his deposition in the Sandy Hook defamation lawsuit

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist, was supposed to answer questions under oath yesterday. He's being sued for his false claims. Here's the main false claim he made - he told a story that the mass killing of 20 students and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary was fake. Yesterday, he would have faced the facts, but Connecticut Public Radio's Frankie Graziano reports he didn't show.

FRANKIE GRAZIANO, BYLINE: Jones hosts a show called "Infowars," and he spread conspiracy theories about the mass shooting. The families sued him four years ago. Their attorneys are trying to depose him. But Jones' attorneys have said he has a medical issue they won't disclose, and he won't go to a deposition until he's cleared by a doctor. But Chris Mattei, an attorney for the families, isn't buying it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRIS MATTEI: This, in our view, was a cowardly display intended to cheat the plaintiffs of their right to put him under oath and ask him questions.

GRAZIANO: Jones' lawyers didn't respond to requests for comment. If Jones doesn't show up again, Mattei wants the judge in the case to force his hand and have him arrested. Judge Barbara Bellis hasn't gone that far yet. She does say that unless he's got symptoms that require him to be hospitalized, he needs to show up. After all, Bellis found that Jones left his home to work on Tuesday, the same day that his attorneys were arguing that he had to remain home under doctor's orders.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BARBARA BELLIS: This is very serious in the court's opinion.

GRAZIANO: Bellis says he can't refuse to participate in a deposition yet continue to choose to keep working. Mattei wants him to show up.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MATTEI: It's ironic because Mr. Jones has been on his show repeatedly saying that, you know, these lawsuits are an effort to silence him, to take him off the air. Well, this was his opportunity to speak.

GRAZIANO: But if he doesn't get to question Jones in a deposition, Mattei says he could use it against Jones in court. Jones has already lost a defamation case. What's still to be decided is how much he'll have to pay in damages.

For NPR News, I'm Frankie Graziano in Glastonbury, Conn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.