A Connecticut judge found Infowars Host Alex Jones will be presumed liable Monday in a defamation suit brought by the parents of children killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School over conspiracy theory allegations that the massacre was a hoax.
The judge’s ruling, which cited Jones’ refusal to abide by court rulings or turn over evidence, means the jury will decide how much damages Jones must pay the families.
Soon after the judge’s decision, Jones appeared on his show and said that he had been denied a fair trial.
“These individuals, again, don’t let me have a jury trial because they know the things they said I supposedly didn’t happen,” he said. “They know they don’t have a case for damages. And so the judge says you’re guilty of damages, and now the jury decides your guilt. You won’t be guilty until you prove your guilt.”
Judge Barbara Baileys took the rare step of issuing a hypothetical ruling in the case because she said Jones and his companies, Infowars and Free Speech Systems, had failed to turn over documents, including records that may have shown how – and if – they profited from spreading misinformation about the school shooting and other mass killings.
Letters requesting comment have been sent to Jones’ attorney. They denied violating court rules on disclosing documents and demanded that Bellis be removed from the case, claiming she was not impartial. It was not clear if they intended to appeal the judgment in absentia.
The verdict has the same consequence as the jury’s decision in the case in favor of the families. The jury will now determine the damages.
Twenty first graders and six teachers were killed in the December 2012 shooting. Officials said the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed his mother at their Newtown, Connecticut, home before the shooting, and killed himself at school when Police arrival.
Jones’ shooting was filmed Infowars It appears as a trick involving actors intended to increase gun control. Jones has since admitted that there was a school shooting.
Families of the victims said they were harassed and threatened with death by Jones’ followers because of the deceptive plot that was pushed. Infowars. They have sued Jones and his companies for defamation and emotional distress. A jury compensation hearing is expected next year.
“What is clear from Judge Pele’s ruling is that defendants Alex Jones and defendants have engaged in a long and persistent path of misconduct in this case with the aim of preventing plaintiffs from obtaining evidence about Mr Jones’ actions and his motives for spreading the lies,” said Christopher Mattei, attorney for the relatives of eight of the victims. who sued Jones in Connecticut, “for them and their families.”
And left messages for the parents of some of the children killed in the shooting.
A Texas judge recently issued similar rulings against Jones in three defamation lawsuits brought by Sandy Hook’s families in that state, finding Jones liable for damages after his and his companies’ failure to turn over documents. It also ordered hearings on the damages.
In one lawsuit, in 2019 a Texas judge ordered Jones to pay $100,000 in legal fees and refused to dismiss the lawsuit. A Wisconsin jury awarded $450,000 to a parent in his lawsuit against conspiracy theorists, with the exception of Jones, who claimed the massacre never happened.
In the three Connecticut lawsuits, Jones was previously penalized for violating multiple orders to deliver documents and for furious in his webcast against Matty. A judge prevented Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the case — a ruling that was upheld after his appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court, which declined to hear Jones’ appeal in April.