A Connecticut judge today ordered Infowars host Alex Jones to pay damages to the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre, which is the deadliest elementary school shooting in U.S. history. That day, the shooter killed 26 people, including 20 kids under eight years old. Jones has repeatedly asserted the fiction that all those involved were actors as part of a federal plot to confiscate Americans’ guns. The victims’ families sued Jones for defamation.
Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled today that Jones was liable by default because the Infowars host has for years refused to turn over web records and documents that would prove whether or not he profited from promulgating conspiracy theories among his fans. The ruling sends the case to a jury, which will decide on damages due to the families.
Sandy Hook victims’ families are now four for four in lawsuits against Jones, according to the New York Times, after he lost three other cases in Texas, where juries will also award damages.
“Mr. Jones is very used to saying whatever he wants to say from the comfort of his own studio, but what I think this case has shown is that when he is forced to defend his conduct in a court of law and comply with court orders, that it’s a very different ballgame,” said victims’ attorney Chris Mattei, according to the Hartford Courant. “The fact that the court was left with no choice but to default him shows just how unwilling Mr. Jones was to have his conduct exposed to the light of day in front of a jury.”
Juries will likely take up deliberation on damages next year.
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