Texas judge rules Alex Jones must pay $100,000 in Sandy Hook legal fees
A Texas judge has ruled that Infowars founder Alex Jones must pay more than $100,000 in legal fees and court costs in a defamation case brought against him by the parent of a child who was slain in the Sandy Hook mass shooting, according to reports.
Judge Scott Jenkins of the Travis County District Court made the order in a Dec. 20 ruling that said Jones and his attorney intentionally ignored an October court order to present documents and witnesses to the plaintiff, Neil Heslin, The New York Times reported.
Jenkins said that the move “should be treated as contempt of court” and ordered Jones to pay Heslin $65,825. The judge also denied Jones’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit in a separate ruling issued the same day. In that ruling, he ordered the InfoWars founder to pay an additional $34,323.80 in legal fees, The Daily Beast noted.
Heslin’s lawsuit alleges that Jones defamed him by declaring that his account of his son’s death was a lie. Heslin’s son, Jesse Lewis, 6, died in December 2012 after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Heslin is one of many parents who have taken Jones to court for spreading and amplifying conspiracy theories related to the 2012 shooting, in which 26 people died. Jones previously called the massacre a “hoax” but has since acknowledged in sworn testimony the shooting occurred.
During that deposition, Jones claimed that a “form of psychosis” made him question whether certain events were staged.
“Mr. Jones is learning that he cannot treat the courts with the same contempt he showed my clients,” Mark Bankston, Heslin’s lawyer, told the Times.
“In disobeying court orders, Mr. Jones has shown how desperate he is to ensure nobody finds out how Infowars really operates, or the lengths the company went to carry out its five-year campaign of malicious harassment against these parents.”
Combined with a previous court order, Jones has been ordered to pay more than $126,000 in the case involving Heslin, according to The Daily Beast. The case is expected to receive a trial date before the end of next year.
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