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.
Connecticut judge Barbara Bellis is suing Alex Jones after failing to provide documents proving that he and his company took advantage of his false claims of a “scam”
The verdict means that a jury will decide the damages that Mr Jones owes to the families of the children and teachers who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A lawyer for the victims’ families says the verdict shows that Mr Jones engaged in “misconduct” which was “designed to prevent plaintiffs from obtaining evidence”.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The verdict follows similar verdicts on defamation