Alex Jones found guilty by default in Sandy Hook defamation lawsuits
A Connecticut superior court found far-right broadcaster Alex Jones guilty in a defamation case brought by the families of eight people killed in a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The court ruled that he was liable by default because Jones failed to comply with his order to produce documents, including financial records.
The latest ruling joins three previous rulings in Texas to grant the families of 10 Sandy Hook victims four successful defamation lawsuits against Jones.
Jones repeatedly spread the conspiracy theory that the mass shooting that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead was a government-led plot to confiscate Americans’ firearms, and that the victims’ families were paid “actors.”
The families alleged that Jones had profited off of spreading the misinformation about the shooting.
The law firm representing the families issued a statement on Monday.
“As the Court noted, Alex Jones and his companies have deliberately concealed evidence of the relationship between what they publish and how they make money,” the lawyers said. “Mr. Jones was given every opportunity to comply but, when he chose instead to withhold evidence for more than two years, the Court was left with no choice but to rule as it did today. While today’s ruling is a legal victory, the battle to shed light on how deeply Mr. Jones has harmed these families continues.”
Jones also released a statement through his Infowars website, lamenting the judge’s ruling as a blow to the First Amendment.
“Nothing less than the fundamental right to speak freely is at stake in these cases,” the statement read. “It is not overstatement to say the first amendment was crucified today.”
Juries in both Connecticut and Texas will determine how much the families should receive in damages. Those trials are scheduled for next year.