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Sandy Hook families win defamation suits against Alex Jones

By Megan Hadley
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Marchers hold up photos of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings at the March for Our Lives demonstration in New York City on March 24, 2018, in New York City. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/7107655b13e6489361c9a9d9b6115767/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Marchers hold up photos of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings at the March for Our Lives demonstration in New York City on March 24, 2018, in New York City. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A Connecticut judge ruled Monday that the Sandy Hook families who sued Alex Jones and his right-wing media company, Infowars, have won their suit "by default" as Jones refused to turn over evidence.

Jones had called the families of victims in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School "actors" and described the massacre in which 28 people, including 20 first-graders were killed, as a hoax. The families of eight victims sued him for defamation.

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Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that since Jones would not turn over documents to the court, including his financial records, that he was guilty by default.

Monday's decision adds to a previous ruling in Texas that held Jones responsible for damages to the families of two children who were killed in the Newton, Conn., shooting.

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Bellis announced last month that she would "take up the question of sanctions against Jones based on his conduct in this matter to date, including conduct relating to discovery."

The Sandy Hook families argued that Jones profited from spreading false statements about their children's slaying.

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Jones denied the claims, but provided no evidence to back up his claims that the shooting was "staged" and "synthetic." Jones had claimed that his comments on the shooting were protected by the constitutional right to free speech. He has since acknowledged he was wrong and that the shooting did occur.

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Juries in Connecticut and Texas will decide how much Jones will pay the families in proceedings set for next year.

The shooting occurred Dec. 14, 2012, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza assaulted the school after killing his mother at home. He killed himself after the rampage.

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Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary

Mourners react after the funeral 6-year-old James Mattioli at Saint Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, Connecticut following a shooting four days before that left 26 people dead including 20 children on December 18, 2012. A gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School early Friday morning. The gunman 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed himself following the shooting rampage inside the school. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

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