A state court in Connecticut granted a sweeping victory to the families of eight people killed in a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., suing the far-right broadcaster and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars media outlet for defamation.
The judge ruled on Monday that because Mr. Jones refused to turn over documents ordered by the courts, including financial records, he was liable by default. The ruling combines with previous rulings in Texas to grant the families of 10 Sandy Hook shooting victims victories in all defamation lawsuits against Mr. Jones.
The Sandy Hook families maintain that Mr. Jones profited from spreading lies about their relatives’ murders. Mr. Jones has disputed that, while for years failing to produce sufficient records to bolster his claims.
In a video statement Monday, Mr. Jones described the lawsuits as fraudulent and said the decision, along with an earlier ruling from Texas, was targeting First Amendment rights.
“This is nothing but the judicial system being weaponized, trying to intimidate me and others,” he said. “It’s not going to work.”
Mr. Jones and Norm Pattis, an attorney for Infowars, called the decisions stunning and said at the time that “the fundamental right to speak freely is at stake.”
Jones said he will appeal.
The default means the judge found in favor of the parents and will hold a hearing on how much damages he should pay.
A jury will now determine the damages.