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Alex Jones files for personal bankruptcy. Sandy Hook families' attorney calls it a 'cowardly move.'

Alex Jones arrives to Waterbury Superior Court on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. He is expected to testify in a trial to determine how much he must pay in damages to the families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Mark Mirko
Connecticut Public
Alex Jones arrives at Waterbury Superior Court on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Alex Jones, who owes nearly $1.5 billion to families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has filed for bankruptcy.

The Infowars host filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Texas court Friday. Creditors listed in the filing include relatives of Sandy Hook victims. Juries in Connecticut and Texas have ruled this year that Jones pay the relatives $1.49 billion for lies he has spread about the 2012 school shooting.

An attorney for a first responder and relatives of eight Sandy Hook victims who sued Jones in Connecticut for defamation called the bankruptcy filing a “cowardly move.”

The personal bankruptcy filing follows a bankruptcy claim by Infowars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems, which Jones owns.

“The bankruptcy system does not protect anyone who engages in intentional and egregious attacks on others, as Mr. Jones did,” said Chris Mattei, an attorney for the families.

“The American judicial system will hold Alex Jones accountable, and we will never stop working to enforce the jury’s verdict," he said.

Vickie Driver, the Dallas-based attorney listed on the bankruptcy filing, and Norm Pattis, Jones’ attorney in Connecticut, weren’t immediately available for comment.

Pattis did notify Superior Court in Waterbury about Jones’ bankruptcy filing.

In the filing, Pattis said all proceedings in the Connecticut case are stayed. The defamation case currently going through post-trial adjudication has not yet been removed from a Waterbury court and to bankruptcy court.

The families are in the middle of trying to get as much of the nearly $1.5 billion judgment as they can from Jones. A judge in Texas recently upheld a jury verdict ordering Jones to pay $49 million to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, a 6-year-old killed at Sandy Hook. That came after a Connecticut judge tacked on $473 million in punitive damages on top of $965 million in compensatory damages awarded to 15 plaintiffs suing Jones in Connecticut.

Jones told the bankruptcy court in Texas that his assets are worth between $1 million and $10 million. Those comments contradicted the trial testimony earlier this year of a forensic economist, who said Jones and his company Free Speech Systems have a combined net worth as high as $270 million. Free Speech Systems is also seeking bankruptcy protection.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

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