Jurors were sent home about 15 minutes earlier Wednesday amid a dispute between attorneys for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and the parents of a child who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2015.
Andino Reynal, Jones’ attorney, offered to admit a nine-minute segment of a Jones InfoWars video, but Mark Bankston, an attorney for the parents, objected, saying the video contained hearsay and was not appropriate for a trial on the size of the damages Jones must pay for calling the shooting a hoax.
State District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble dismissed the jurors so the video dispute could be resolved.
Reynal complained that he wanted to show a full segment to counter “the small clips of hand-picked videos” that Bankston had shown to jurors. But Guerra Gamble reminded Reynal that he was supposed to have submitted all the evidence in a preliminary hearing but did not have the videos ready, handcuffing his presentation and putting the court in a bind.
Then tempers flared.
Reynal pointed to a written list of videos that had been submitted to the court, saying he believed he and Bankston had reached a pretrial agreement to admit them.
Bankston disagreed. “It’s a list of produced videos,” he said. “I was not okay with them being introduced.”
The judge also pointed out that the document was only a list of InfoWars videos and several were not introduced into evidence.
“Bankston is being dishonest with the court,” Reynal said, repeating that he and opposing counsel had agreed to introduce the videos into evidence, with Bankston repeating his refusal.
Exasperated, the judge ordered Reynal and Bankston to meet to come to an agreement on the videos, with Reynal identifying the specific information needed to give jurors a full picture and Bankston raising specific objections based on hearsay, allowing the judge to make decisions Thursday morning before jurors are seated.
Guerra Gamble also said she would attribute Reynal’s accusations to a difficult day in court with strong emotions, adding: “If you’re going to call other lawyers in my courtroom dishonest, you have to confirm that.”
The judge left the courtroom, but Reynal and Bankston continued to fire until another lawyer intervened to say negotiations would begin later that night, over the phone, after heads had cooled .
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Second day of Alex Jones’ Sandy Hook trial ends in turmoil