Infowars' Alex Jones forced to pay £76,000 to father of Sandy Hook victim

Conspiracy theorist claimed 2012 shooting a hoax to try and confiscate firearms

Neil Vigdor
Tuesday 31 December 2019 09:03
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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones addresses his thoughts on Sandy Hook shooting being a hoax

A Texas judge has ordered InfoWars founder Alex Jones to pay $100,000 (£76,000) in legal fees in a defamation case brought against him by the father of a Sandy Hook school shooting victim, the latest court setback for the conspiracy theorist.

In a 20 December ruling, judge Scott Jenkins of Travis County District Court said that Mr Jones and his lawyer intentionally disregarded an October court order to produce witnesses and other materials to the plaintiff in the lawsuit, Neil Heslin.

Jenkins said the defence’s failure to cooperate “should be treated as contempt of court”. In two separate orders issued the same day, the judge told Jones to pay $65,825 (£50,000) and $34,323 (£26,000) in lawyer fees incurred by Mr Heslin. He also denied Mr Jones’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which argues that Mr Jones and InfoWars defamed Mr Heslin by calling his account of his son’s death a lie.

Mr Heslin lost his son, Jesse Lewis, in the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a heavily-armed gunman killed 20 first graders and six educators before taking his own life.

“Mr Jones is learning that he cannot treat the courts with the same contempt he showed my clients,” Mark Bankston, Mr Heslin’s lawyer, said in an email Monday night.

“In disobeying court orders, Mr Jones has shown how desperate he is to ensure nobody finds out how InfoWars really operates, or the lengths the company went to carry out its five-year campaign of malicious harassment against these parents.”

The Daily Beast first reported the ruling against Mr Jones, who is facing lawsuits on a number of fronts filed by several families of the victims.

A lawyer listed for Mr Jones and his InfoWars website did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday night.

Jones has used his platform to spread the false narrative that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax or “false flag”, an event staged by the government as part of an effort to confiscate Americans’ firearms, and that the parents of the children killed were “crisis actors”.

Mr Bankston said he expected a trial in the defamation case to be scheduled before the end of next year.

The New York Times

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