Chris Lange, FISM News
A Connecticut judge on Monday found media personality Alex Jones liable in a defamation suit brought against him by families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. The suit was filed on behalf of 10 families against the InfoWars host over his claims that the assault that left 20 children and six adults dead was a staged “hoax” perpetrated by gun-control advocates. The families accused Jones of profiting from lying about the shooting.
According to Reuters, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis issued a default ruling against Jones for his failure to comply with a court order to turn over documents relating to profits he or InfoWars’ parent company made in connection to the conspiracy claims.
An attorney for the families of the Sandy Hook victims said his clients are “grateful” for the ruling and remain “focused on uncovering the truth.”
“Mr. Jones was given every opportunity to comply [with the order] 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,” said Chris Mattei of the law firm, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder.
InfoWars attorney Norm Pattis says the ruling fails to “prove either liability or damages.” “We think [the families’] lawyers know this; hence, the desperate effort to obtain a default,” he said in a statement, adding, “Thank God for appellate courts.”
Following the decision, Jones issued a video statement in which he says he was denied a fair trial. ‘These individuals, again, are not allowing me to have a jury trial because they know the things they said I supposedly did, didn’t happen,” he said. “They know they don’t have a case for damages. And so the judge is saying you are guilty of damages, now a jury decides how guilty you are. It’s not guilty until proven guilty.”
The Connecticut decision follows three similar rulings in defamation suits brought against Jones in Texas by the Sandy Hook victims’ families over his conspiracy claims. Following a Sept. 30 default ruling based on another failure by Jones to hand over court-ordered documents, he and Pattis issued a joint statement on the InfoWars website: “Nothing less than the fundamental right to speak freely is at stake in these cases,” they said, adding, “It is not [an] overstatement to say the First Amendment was crucified today.”
According to the New York Times, the cases in both states now rest in the hands of jurors who will decide how much Jones will have to pay in damages to the families.