Explainer: what’s next for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones?

Aug. 5 (Reuters) – A jury in Austin, Texas, ruled Friday that American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay the parents of a child who died in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre in $45.2 million in damages for the murder. falsely claiming the shooting was a hoax. in addition to $4.1 million in compensatory damages. read more

Here are some of the other legal challenges Jones and his company are now facing.

TEXAS, CONNECTICUT LAW CASE

Jones faces separate damages lawsuit in the same Austin court for defaming the family of another victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. His lawyer said Friday that the case has been put on hold due to the bankruptcy of his company.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Jones is on trial to decide damages in another case in Waterbury, Connecticut, after he was found liable in absentia for defaming families of several Sandy Hook victims with falsehoods about the shooting that killed 20 children and six staff members in Newtown, Connecticut.

Jones had called the shooting a hoax by the US government, staged using crisis actors as a pretext to take away Americans’ guns. He has since acknowledged that the massacre was real.

The Connecticut trial, which was set to begin in September, was suspended after Jones’ company Free Speech Systems LLC was declared bankrupt last week. Jones said on Monday’s broadcast of his Infowars program that the filing will help the company stay afloat while it appeals.

TEXAS BANKRUPTCY

In the bankruptcy case, Sandy Hook parents this week told a Houston judge that Jones may continue to pull money from Free Speech Systems, the parent company of his far-right Infowars website, while using his bankruptcy case to avoid paying libel court decisions. . cases.

The families have said Jones took $62 million from Free Speech Systems while burdening it with $65 million in “fabricated” debt owed to PQPR Holdings, a company owned by Jones and his parents. They asked the bankruptcy court not to allow Free Speech Systems to send money to Jones or his companies until they have had a chance to get to the bottom of Infowars’ finances.

POSSIBLE COST NOTICE

An attorney for plaintiffs in the Texas trial on Wednesday revealed that Jones’ attorney Federico Andino Reynal inadvertently sent him a file containing two years’ worth of Jones’ text messages, along with notes about trial strategy and medical records. .

Jones has maintained that he searched his phone for texts about Sandy Hook and never found one. He denied on the witness stand that he lied, but the disclosure raised the possibility that Jones could be charged with perjury, a crime.

Judge Maya Guerra Gamble admonished Jones Tuesday for not being honest during his testimony when he said he was bankrupt and had complied with plaintiffs’ requests for information before trial.

Defense attorneys in Texas said prosecutions for perjury are rare, especially for conduct in a civil case.

REPERCUSSIONS FROM THE LAWYER

The Connecticut judge on Thursday ordered Reynal and another Jones attorney to appear this month for hearings about whether they should face sanctions for unauthorized disclosure of the plaintiffs’ medical information, apparently in reference to the disclosure. of Jones’ files in Texas. Reynal did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

US CAPITOL ATTACK FALLOUT

The revelation could also affect the investigation by a US House of Representatives committee into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Mark Bankston, an attorney for the parents in the Texas libel suit, said in court on Thursday that the commission had asked him to hand over the text files he received.

Jones marched with supporters to the Capitol on the day of the riots, but has not been charged with any criminal offense in connection therewith.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Jack Queen and Dietrich Knauth in New York; Editing by Will Dunham, David Bario and Leslie Adler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment