A United States judge found prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones guilty by default in his fourth defamation case filed by families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting.
Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled on Nov. 15 that Jones was liable to pay damages to the families after he refused to provide evidence to support his false claims that the shooting was a hoax staged by the government to push for gun control.
The court had ordered Jones to turn over documents, including financial and web analytics data, but Jones repeatedly failed to do so.
“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,” Attorney Chris Mattei, who represents the families, said.
Families of the victims were subjected to years of harassment, both in-person and online, due to the false claims Jones spread on his radio show and his far-right conspiracy theory website Infowars.
Jones, who has acknowledged that the shooting was real amid his legal challenges, lost three separate defamation cases in Texas in October for also repeatedly failing to hand over documents.
Juries in both Connecticut and Texas will determine how much Jones has to pay the families in damages and court costs.
On Dec. 14, 2012, a gunman opened fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. It was one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.
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