A Connecticut judge has issued a sweeping ruling against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, finding him liable in a long-running defamation lawsuit brought by families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
Jones had made repeated claims that the shooting was a hoax.
In her “default” judgment against Jones, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis cited “willful noncompliance” by Jones and his various entities.
“Their failure to produce critical documents, their disregard for the discovery process and procedure and for court orders is a pattern of obstructive conduct that interferes with the ability of the plaintiffs to conduct meaningful discovery and prevents the plaintiffs from properly prosecuting their claims,” Bellis said in her ruling from the bench.
The case moves now to a jury to decide what damages Jones owes the families. In October, a Texas judge ruled against Jones in three similar defamation cases.
The plaintiffs in the case include the families of eight victims of the shooting, and one FBI first responder.
Attorney Chris Mattei represented the plaintiffs. He says default judgments are not common but that Jones refused to comply with the court’s orders.
“He fabricated evidence, he falsely withheld evidence,” Mattei said. “And, as a result of that, the judge concluded that the unusual remedy of default was the only just outcome here.”
Lawyers for Jones have not responded to a request for comment. They have denied violating rules on turning over documents.
Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.