Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has urged a Connecticut judge to overturn a nearly $1 billion judgment against him and order a new trial in a lawsuit brought by Sandy Hook families who claim Jones’ claims about the 2012 Newtown school shooting led them to harassment and threats.
Jones submitted the motions on Friday, claiming that the pretrial decisions made by Judge Barbara Bellis caused an unfair trial and “a serious miscarriage of justice.”
Jones’s attorneys, Norm Pattis and Kevin Smith, stated in the request that “in addition, the sum of the compensatory damages award exceeds any rational nexus to the facts produced at trial.”
The 15 plaintiffs in action against Jones are represented by Christopher Mattei, who declined to comment on the filing on Saturday but said that he and other attorneys representing the Sandy Hook families would be submitting a brief opposing Jones’ request.
In the attack on December 14, 2012, six teachers and twenty-first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School perished.
As a result of Jones’ promotion of the false narrative that the shooting was a hoax staged by “crisis actors” to enact more gun control, an FBI agent who responded to the shooting and the relatives of the eight children and adults killed in the massacre sued Jones for defamation and infliction of emotional distress.
On October 12, six Waterbury, Connecticut jurors handed down a verdict requiring Jones and his business, Free Speech Systems, to pay the plaintiffs $965 million in compensatory and additional punitive damages.
Bellis has scheduled hearings for the first of the following month to assess the amount of the punitive damages.
In frequently emotional testimony, the relatives of the victims testified that they had endured years of harassment and threats from those who had bought into the fabrications on Jones’ show.
Strangers approached the family in the open and showed up at their houses to record them.
On social media, insulting comments were made, and family members claimed they were threatened with rape and death.
The judgments followed a Texas jury’s August ruling that Jones and his business must compensate the parents of another Sandy Hook victim for close to $50 million in damages.
Near the end of the year, Texas will likely host a third trial involving two additional Sandy Hook parents about the hoax allegations.
On his Austin, Texas-based Infowars show, Jones, who has now admitted that the shooting did take place, has criticized the lawsuits and trials, calling them unfair and an infringement on his right to free speech.
But when the judges in Connecticut and Texas declared him liable for damages by default without trials for what they characterized as Jones’ repeated refusal to turn over some evidence, such as bank documents and website analytics, to the Sandy Hook attorneys, he lost his chance to offer those defenses.
The emphasis of the trials in both states was solely on Jones’s obligation to pay damages because responsibility had already been proven.
In the filings submitted on Friday, Jones’ attorney Pattis stated that there was insufficient proof linking Jones to those who intimidated and harassed the Sandy Hook relatives.
According to Pattis, the trial “was more like a burial ceremony than a trial.”