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Judge still wants attorneys in court despite bankruptcy filing in Sandy Hook defamation case

Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones rallies pro-Trump supporters outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office on Nov. 5, 2020, in Phoenix.
Matt York
Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones rallies pro-Trump supporters outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office on Nov. 5, 2020, in Phoenix.

Attorneys representing families of victims killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are once again accusing Infowars host Alex Jones of trying to delay justice after Infowars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy on Friday.

That was less than a week after the judge in the Connecticut case denied a defense request to reconsider delaying the trial set to begin on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

“Mr. Jones has once again fled like a coward to bankruptcy court in a transparent attempt to delay facing the families that he has spent years hurting,” according to a statement sent to Connecticut Public on behalf of Chris Mattei, an attorney representing the families in court. “These families have an endless well of patience and remain determined to hold Mr. Jones accountable in a Connecticut court.”

Jones is on trial in Texas and is slated to go on trial in Connecticut, where he is being sued by families of victims killed in the shooting.

Despite the bankruptcy filing, Waterbury Judge Barbara Bellis ordered the defendants to show up to court anyway on Aug. 2, the day jury selection is scheduled to start.

“The order is confusing,” Jones’ attorney Norm Pattis wrote in an email to Connecticut Public.

Pattis said that the last time there was a bankruptcy filing for parties related to the case, everything stopped. The Connecticut case halted for a month and a half on April 19 when three entities listed as defendants in the lawsuit, Infowars LLC and two subsidiaries, Infowars Health LLC and Prison Planet LLC, filed for bankruptcy protection. The case was remanded to the Waterbury court on June 1, and the entities were removed as named defendants in the docket a day later.

The families sued Jones in 2018 for defamation. Among the multiple claims made by Jones dismissing the shooting as a hoax was that “everything about it’s fake.” Jones has already lost the cases by default. The lawsuits continue to a jury trial to determine how much Jones will pay in damages.

In Texas, plaintiffs are asking for $150 million.

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

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