National News from ABC

Alex Jones’ second defamation trial over Sandy Hook massacre to move forward

Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The parent company of InfoWars has agreed to face a second defamation trial over the false claims its founder, conspiracy theorist and right-wing provocateur Alex Jones, made about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Free Speech Systems said at a bankruptcy court hearing in Houston on Monday it would no longer oppose the trial in Connecticut despite the company's bankruptcy proceeding, which would ordinarily offer a reprieve from legal action.

"The parties have reached a settlement on this. This will help facilitate the trial in Connecticut," U.S. bankruptcy judge Christopher Lopez said on Monday. "The fact that the parties reached agreement on this, I want to thank all the professionals."

The Connecticut trial is expected to begin in September.

Judge Barbara Bellis found Jones liable in a defamation lawsuit for calling the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax. The trial in Connecticut does not involve a question of guilt or innocence, but rather, of damages, as the judge already determined that Jones is guilty.

In exchange for allowing the second trial to move forward, the families agreed not to oppose the company's choice of lawyers, both of whom are under investigation for leaking sensitive medical records about the plaintiffs, something Bellis said "gravely concerned" her at a court hearing earlier this month.

Jones was successfully sued by the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the massacre after he claimed that the shooting -- where 20 children and six adults were killed -- didn't happen. Jones later said at trial he thinks the shooting was "100% real."

The plaintiffs, immediate family members of children and educators killed in at Sandy Hook as well as one first responder, successfully sued Jones for defamation in November 2021 and are seeking to hold him financially liable for his comments, which include calling them "crisis actors," saying the massacre was "staged" and "the fakest thing since the three-dollar bill."

At issue in the Connecticut trial, is how much Jones and Free Speech Systems will have to pay the families of children killed in the massacre.

Jones' attorney did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Earlier this month, a Texas jury decided Jones should pay the parents of the 6-year-old victim $45 million in punitive damages and $4 million in compensatory damages.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.







 



WXHC.com Archives