Alex Jones Defamed Sandy Hook Victims by Calling Shooting 'Giant Hoax,' Will Pay Damages

Infowars host Alex Jones was found guilty of defaming the victims of the 2013 Sandy Hook shooting by claiming the shooting was a hoax, a judge ruled Monday.

He was found guilty in all four cases, Elizabeth Williamson, a New York Times reporter, tweeted Monday morning. Next, trials will be held to determine how much Jones will pay the families of the victims in damages.

BREAKING: Alex Jones guilty by default today in CT Sandy Hook defamation case brought by 8 victims' families today. 1/

— Elizabeth Williamson (@NYTLiz) November 15, 2021

Judge Barbara Bellis issued a default against Jones for his and his companies "failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims," the Associated Press reported.

Lawyers for the children's families claimed his lawyers violated court rules by not turning over documents to them, including company documents that would show if Jones profited from spreading conspiracies about the shooting. His lawyers, however, denied violating court rules and asked Bellis to be removed from the case, arguing she was not impartial, the AP reported.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, left 20 first-graders and six staff members dead. Jones has frequently claimed that the tragedy was a hoax and that the children's families were "crisis actors," prompting lawsuits from several families who have claimed they were harassed by his followers.

Attorney Chris Mattei, who represented the families, praised the ruling, saying it "shows just how unwilling Mr. Jones was to have his conduct exposed to the light of day in front of a jury," the Courant reported.

"Mr. Jones is very used to saying whatever he wants to say from the comfort of his own studio, but what I think this case has shown is that when he is forced to defend his conduct in a court of law and comply with court orders, that it's a very different ballgame," according to the Courant.

In a statement to Newsweek, Jones' attorney, Norm Pattis, slammed the ruling as being based "neither in law or fact."

"We had appealed Judge Bellis's decision to refuse to step aside to the state Supreme Court on Friday. We remain confident that, in the end, the Sandy Hook families cannot prove either liability or damages," Pattis said. "We think their lawyers know this; hence, the desperate effort to obtain a default."

The ruling comes more than a month after another loss for the right-wing host when a judge in Texas issued a default judgment against him for repeatedly failing to comply with requests to produce documents related to his remarks about the shooting.

In a statement following the Texas ruling, Jones said in a statement with his attorney Norm Pattis that the "first amendment was crucified" by the decision. They wrote that the ruling took "no account of the tens of thousands of documents produced by the defendants, the hours spent sitting for depositions and the various sworn statements filed in these cases."

"I do think there's some cover-up and some manipulation," Jones said in a 2017 interview.

Update 11/16/21, 9:13 AM ET: to include a statement from Alex Jones' attorney to Newsweek.

Alex Jones
A judge ruled Monday that Alex Jones, above, is guilty of defaming the families of the children who were killed in the 2013 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. Drew Angerer/Getty Images