HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has requested a Connecticut decide 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 capturing.
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’ attorneys, 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 will probably be submitting a quick opposing Jones’ request.
Twenty first graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary College died within the assault on Dec. 14, 2012.
An FBI agent who responded to the capturing and kin 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 capturing 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 must be awarded. Bellis has scheduled hearings for early subsequent month to find out the quantity of the punitive damages.
Through the trial, victims’ kin mentioned in often-emotional testimony that they have been threatened and harassed for years by individuals who believed the lies advised on Jones’ present. Strangers confirmed up on the households’ properties to file them and confronted them in public. Folks hurled abusive feedback on social media. Relations mentioned they obtained dying 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 dad and mom of one other slain Sandy Hook youngster. A 3rd trial over the hoax claims, involving two extra Sandy Hook dad and mom, is predicted to be held close to the top of the yr in Texas.
Jones, who has acknowledged in recent times that the capturing 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 attorneys.
With legal responsibility already established, the trials in each states centered solely on how a lot Jones ought to pay in damages.
Pattis, Jones’ lawyer, wrote within the motions filed Friday that there was a scarcity 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 because of the homicide of their youngsters,” Pattis wrote, including that Jones didn’t ship individuals to harass and threaten the households.
“There was no competent proof provided at this trial that he ever did,” he wrote. “As a substitute, there was a stunning abuse of a disciplinary default and its transformation right into a sequence of half-truths that misled a jury and resulted in substantial injustice.”