Home Defamation Lawsuits Alex Jones no-shows at hearing in latest Sandy Hook case

Alex Jones no-shows at hearing in latest Sandy Hook case

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Alex Jones, Austin-based founder of the far-right conspiracy-driven media company Infowars, failed to show up Friday for a hearing in the latest ongoing defamation lawsuit brought by Sandy Hook parents against Jones.  

Friday’s was the only pre-trial hearing in a lawsuit brought by Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was killed by the Sandy Hook gunman. Their case was originally filed in 2018. Since then, Jones has “intentionally disobeyed the court’s order” by refusing to hand over documents in compliance with the discovery process, Judge Guerra Gamble wrote in a court order last year.

Attorneys for Heslin and Lewis say Jones’ no-show in an Austin court on Friday is just the latest example of the right-wing provocateur’s ongoing “lack of respect for the discovery process.”

In fact, Jones “abused the discovery process so much,” according to Bill Ogden, one of Heslin and Lewis’ attorneys, that the court issued a default ruling in favor of the plaintiffs months ago. This means that Heslin’s and Lewis’ legal team “just have to prove the damages at this point, because he abused the discovery process so much,” Ogden said. 

In most civil court proceedings, plaintiffs’ attorneys have to prove that what their client claims happened actually occurred, also called “liability”; and that their clients suffered consequences because of what happened, also called “damages.” The families’ attorneys will only now have to show that Jones’ conspiracy-peddling caused the damages during the upcoming jury trial, Ogden explained.  

A Connecticut judge also defaulted Jones without trial on the issue of liability in November 2021 for failing to comply with the discovery process in another Sandy Hook defamation case. Jones’ legal team did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.  

Soon after a gunman killed 19 students and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Jones began spreading the lie that the shooting was faked by the government and that grieving parents were actually “crisis actors.” Jones’ followers doxxed and harassed parents of victims for years afterwards. 

Sandy Hook parents have since filed a series of defamation lawsuits against Jones in Connecticut and Texas; he has paid out millions in damages and court sanctions after losing those cases. 

Heslin’s and Lewis’ case was also delayed when Jones filed for bankruptcy in Texas court in April; the bankruptcy case was dismissed last month after attorneys for Sandy Hook families accused Jones of trying to shield his assets from courts as juries in the Sandy Hook cases are set to decide how much Jones owes the families in damages later this year. 



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