AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A producer for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s media company tried to paint a sympathetic portrait of him as a jury decides how much in financial damages he should pay for his past claims that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school was a hoax.

The sympathetic portrayal of the bombastic Jones drew immediate rebuke Thursday from attorneys for the parents suing Jones for at least $150 million for the abuse they say they’ve suffered for years because of Jones’ false statements about the slaying of their child in the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Courts in Texas and Connecticut have already found Jones liable for defamation for his portrayal of the slayings as a hoax aimed at increasing gun control.

By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press