A Texas judge on Wednesday postponed a trial that will determine how much right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will have to pay the families of two Sandy Hook shooting victims. The trial had been set to start next week.
The delay came after three companies tied to Jones, including the fringe media organization Infowars, sought bankruptcy protection earlier in the week – a move that can temporarily pause civil litigation against businesses.
Jones, who is also being sued by the families of Sandy Hook victims in Connecticut, was found legally responsible in October for false claims he made about the tragedy that claimed 26 lives. The judge in the case, Travis County District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, issued default judgments against Jones because he refused to comply with court orders.
Jones baselessly said in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting that the incident was staged. Facing lawsuits, Jones has since acknowledged the shooting occurred. He said in a 2019 sworn deposition that a “form of psychosis” caused him to make his false comments.
A representative for Jones did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
But Mark Bankston, the attorney representing the parents of two Sandy Hook children in the Texas lawsuit, accused Jones of having executed a “perverse scheme to defraud the Sandy Hook parents.”
Bankston said that while Jones had successfully delayed the trial by seeking bankruptcy protection for the companies affiliated with him, the “dishonest plot will have severe consequences for both Mr. Jones and the fawning attorneys who went along with this sham.”
“Every single time Mr. Jones has attempted to sabotage this lawsuit through some corrupt stunt, it has ended with him further in the hole and owing my clients even more money in court sanctions,” Bankston added. “This latest stunt will be no different.”