Alex Jones seeks new trial after $1B Sandy Hook verdict
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has requested a Connecticut choose to throw out an almost $1 billion verdict in opposition to him and order a brand new trial in a lawsuit by Sandy Hook households, who say they have been subjected to harassment and threats from Jones’ lies concerning the 2012 Newtown college taking pictures.
Jones filed the requests Friday, saying Choose Barbara Bellis’ pretrial rulings resulted in an unfair trial and “a considerable miscarriage of justice.”
“Moreover, the quantity of the compensatory damages award exceeds any rational relationship to the proof provided at trial,” Jones’ legal professionals, Norm Pattis and Kevin Smith, wrote within the movement.
Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the 15 plaintiffs within the lawsuit in opposition to Jones, declined to touch upon the submitting Saturday, however mentioned he and different attorneys for the Sandy Hook households can be submitting a short opposing Jones’ request.
Twenty first graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty died within the assault on Dec. 14, 2012.
An FBI agent who responded to the taking pictures and family members of eight youngsters and adults killed within the bloodbath sued Jones for defamation and infliction of emotional misery over his pushing the bogus narrative that the taking pictures was a hoax staged by “disaster actors” to impose extra gun management.
Six jurors in Waterbury, Connecticut, ordered Jones and his firm, Free Speech Methods, on Oct. 12 to pay $965 million in compensatory damages to the plaintiffs and mentioned punitive damages additionally ought to be awarded. Bellis has scheduled hearings for early subsequent month to find out the quantity of the punitive damages.
In the course of the trial, victims’ family members mentioned in often-emotional testimony that they have been threatened and harassed for years by individuals who believed the lies informed on Jones’ present. Strangers confirmed up on the households’ houses to report them and confronted them in public. Folks hurled abusive feedback on social media. Family mentioned they obtained demise and rape threats.
The verdicts got here after one other jury in Texas in August ordered Jones and his firm to pay almost $50 million in damages to the mother and father of one other slain Sandy Hook youngster. A 3rd trial over the hoax claims, involving two extra Sandy Hook mother and father, is anticipated to be held close to the top of the 12 months in Texas.
Jones, who has acknowledged in recent times that the taking pictures did happen, has blasted the lawsuits and trials on his Austin, Texas-based Infowars present, calling them unfair and a violation of his free speech rights.
However he misplaced his proper to current these defenses when the judges in Connecticut and Texas discovered him chargeable for damages by default with out trials, for what they referred to as Jones’ repeated failures to show over some proof together with monetary paperwork and web site analytics to the Sandy Hook legal professionals.
With legal responsibility already established, the trials in each states targeted solely on how a lot Jones ought to pay in damages.
Pattis, Jones’ lawyer, wrote within the motions filed Friday that there was an absence of proof immediately connecting Jones with the individuals who harassed and threatened the Sandy Hook households. Pattis mentioned the trial resembled a “memorial service, not a trial.”
“Sure, the households on this case suffered horribly on account of the homicide of their youngsters,” Pattis wrote, including that Jones didn’t ship folks to harass and threaten the households.
“There was no competent proof provided at this trial that he ever did,” he wrote. “As an alternative, there was a surprising abuse of a disciplinary default and its transformation right into a sequence of half-truths that misled a jury and resulted in substantial injustice.”