Judge rules Sandy Hook families can depose Alex Jones in defamation case
A Connecticut judge ruled Wednesday that Infowars owner Alex Jones must sit for a deposition by attorneys for the parents of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims who are suing him for defamation.
Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that Jones must sit for a five-hour deposition by attorneys for the families.
Bellis also ruled that three others critical to Infowars’s operations could be deposed by the families, according to the Hartford Courant.
Bellis said the families are “entitled to conduct discovery likely to lead to admissible evidence for the purposes of opposing the motions to dismiss,” according to the Courant.
Six families and one FBI agent who responded to the shooting filed a lawsuit last year accusing Jones of defamation for calling the 2012 shooting a hoax.
Twenty children and six adults were killed in the shooting. Jones has repeatedly suggested the shooting wasn’t real.
The lawsuit alleges that Jones knew the claims he made on his show were false but continued to make them because they bolstered ratings and drew advertisers.
Mark Barden, a plaintiff in the case whose son, Daniel, was killed in the shooting, released a statement Wednesday supporting Bellis's ruling.
“For years, Alex Jones and his co-conspirators have turned the unthinkable loss of our sweet little Daniel and of so many others into advertising dollars and fundraising appeals. It is far beyond time that he be held accountable for the pain his false narratives have caused so many and today’s ruling brings us one step closer to doing that.”
A judge ruled last month that Jones must turn over Infowars marketing and financial documents to the families.
Jones's attorney, Jay Wolman, appealed to the state Supreme Court to overturn that ruling, but was denied his request.
Wolman previously filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming Jones's speech was protected by the First Amendment.
Updated at 10:25 p.m.