Infowars host Alex Jones is liable for damages in the defamation case of the Sandy Hook shooting “scam”.

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An American judge has found that Infowars host Alex Jones is responsible by default in a defamation case brought by the parents of children who were killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Mr Jones had claimed the massacre was a hoax.

The decision by Connecticut judge Barbara Bellis – who referred to Jones’ refusal to follow court decisions or hand over evidence – means that a jury will decide how much in damages Jones should pay to the families.

Shortly after the judge’s decision, Jones claimed he had been deprived of a fair trial.

“They know they do not have a tort case. And so the judge says you are guilty of damages, now a jury decides how guilty you are. It is not guilty until proven guilty.”

Newtown families address the media
Families of the victims say they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ supporters because of the Infowars conspiracy.(Reuters: Lucas Jackson)

Reporting an error after failure to submit documents

Judge Barbara Bellis took the rare step of issuing a third-party verdict in the case.

She said Mr Jones and his company, Infowars and Free Speech Systems, had failed to provide documents, including records that may have shown how and if they had profited from spreading false information about the school shooting and other massacres.

Mr Jones’s lawyers have been contacted for comment.

Former lawyers for Mr Jones have denied violating court rules on document disclosure and have asked Judge Bellis to be removed from the case, claiming she was not impartial.

It was not clear if they planned to appeal the third-party verdict.

The verdict has the same outcome as a jury that decides the case in favor of the families.

A jury will now determine the damages.

Women embrace after observing a minute of silence near the Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown.
The TV broadcaster Alex Jones has since admitted that the school shooting occurred.(Reuters: Adrees Latif)

Families at risk of death after conspiracy

In December 2012, 20 first-class children and six teachers were killed by a shooter.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother at their Newtown home before the shooting and then took his own life at the school when police arrived.

Floral tribute to Sandy Hook victims
Alex Jones has been punished for violating several court decisions. (Reuters: Michelle McLoughlin)

Not long after, the shooting on the Jones Infowars show was portrayed as a scam involving actors who aimed to increase gun control.

Mr Jones has since acknowledged that the school shooting occurred.

The families of the victims said they had been exposed to harassment and death threats from Mr Jones’ supporters due to the scam conspiracy run on Infowars.

They sued Mr Jones and his company for defamation and emotional distress.

The hearing on damages before a jury is expected to be held next year.

“It is clear from Judge Belli’s decision that Alex Jones and Jones ‘defendants have engaged in a long, continuous misconduct, in this case designed to prevent the plaintiffs from obtaining evidence of Mr Jones’ activities and of his motives for publishing lies. about them and their families, said Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the relatives of eight of the victims.

Alex Jones speaks in a loudspeaker during a pro-Trump protest against the 2020 election result.
Alex Jones says he has been deprived of a fair trial.(Reuters: Jim Urquhart)

The verdict follows similar verdicts on defamation

A Texas judge recently issued similar verdicts against Jones in three defamation cases brought by Sandy Hook families in that state, and found Mr Jones liable for damages after neglecting him and his company for failing to hand over documents.

Hearings on damages were also ordered.

In one case, a Texas judge ordered Mr Jones to pay $ 100,000 ($ 136,000) in legal fees and refused to dismiss the case.

In the three ongoing Connecticut cases, Mr Jones has previously been punished for violating several orders to hand over documents and for an angry outburst on his web show.

A judge also prevented Mr Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the case, a decision that was upheld after being appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court in April.