AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Texas judge ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $100,000 in another court setback over the Infowars host using his show to promote falsehoods that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax.
Jones is being sued for defamation in Austin, Texas, by the parents of a 6-year-old who was among the 26 people killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, attack.
State District Judge Scott Jenkins ruled on Dec. 20 that Jones and his defense team “intentionally disregarded” an earlier order to provide witnesses to attorneys representing a Sandy Hook father who brought the lawsuit, Neil Heslin. Jenkins also denied Jones’ request to dismiss the lawsuit.
Jenkins’ orders were first reported by The Daily Beast.
“It’s hardly a surprise that someone like Alex Jones would soon find himself in contempt of court, but now he is learning there are severe consequences to his utter disrespect for this process,” one of Heslin’s attorneys told the Daily Beast.
Jones operates Infowars in Texas. He is fighting similar lawsuits in Connecticut brought by other families of Sandy Hook victims for promoting a theory that the shooting was a hoax. A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 first-graders, six educators and himself at the school, after having killed his mother at their Newtown home.
The families said they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy.
Jones has since acknowledged that the Sandy Hook killings occurred. His attorneys have defended his speech in court as “rhetorical hyperbole” and deny it was defamation.
In June, the father of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, one of the Sandy Hook victims, won a defamation lawsuit against the authors of a book that claimed the shooting never happened.
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