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Plaintiffs in case against Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist seek default judgment

The chaotic scene outside the fire station in Sandy Hook after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.
Tim Clayton
Corbis News
The chaotic scene outside the Sandy Hook fire station after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.

Infowars host Alex Jones already has default judgments against him in two lawsuits filed against him in Texas by families of loved ones killed in the December 2012 shooting. And now attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Connecticut case want the judge to rule in their favor before a jury could hear it.

A Connecticut judge heard arguments Friday in a case against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the host of Infowars, who has said the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was “a giant hoax.”

Families of loved ones murdered in the 2012 shooting sued Jones three years ago.

Attorney Chris Mattei represents the families, and on Friday he asked Judge Barbara Bellis to award the families a judgment before the case even gets to a jury. That’s because he claims Jones has withheld information from the court.

“The only remedy is default,” Mattei said in a remote court hearing.

The plaintiffs believe that Jones made false claims to make money. So, they’ve asked the defense to produce material — specifically Google analytics and data from social media posts — they believe will support their theory.

“In order to prove the extent of the harm that Mr. Jones inflicted on our clients, this information is vital, and that’s exactly why they withheld and repeatedly lied about it — both the fact that it exists and their ability to produce it,” Mattei said.

A Texas judge ruled against the team on Oct. 1 in a similar case, citing its “general bad faith approach to litigation.” That ruling was in favor of parents of two children shot and killed on Dec. 14, 2012. Default judgments there were related to a failure to produce information requested by the court in two lawsuits filed on behalf of the families of the two children.

In Connecticut court on Friday, Jones’ attorney Jay Marshall Wolman denied that his client’s company had withheld information. He also said content related to the shooting was “not a driver” of sales.

Wolman told the judge on Friday that his team “produced what is had about what it has. They came into this case without any evidence to support their theories, and now they are trying to look for it and are disappointed that none exists.”

Attorneys for Jones have said their client knows the shooting happened. That’s something the families acknowledge, but they also say that Jones and his followers continue the “perpetuation and propagation” of a conspiracy theory.

Bellis did not rule. She’ll hear the matter again on Nov. 15.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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