Alex Jones is now 0 for 4 in defamation cases brought by parents of victims in the Sandy Hook school shooting. On Monday, a judge in Connecticut took the rare step of finding Jones guilty by default because he repeatedly refused to hand over documents pertinent to the trial, reports the Hartford Courant. The move means that the case goes immediately to the damages phase—a jury will determine how much money Jones owes the parents. While the judge's move is indeed rare, the same thing happened to Jones in three similar cases in Texas, notes the New York Times. Juries in both states are expected to decide damages next year over Jones' bogus claims that the shooting was a hoax perpetrated to bolster gun laws.
"Mr. Jones is very used to saying whatever he wants to say from the comfort of his own studio, but what I think this case has shown is that when he is forced to defend his conduct in a court of law and comply with court orders, that it’s a very different ballgame," said attorney Chris Mattei, a lawyer representing the Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut case. "The fact that the court was left with no choice but to default him shows just how unwilling Mr. Jones was to have his conduct exposed to the light of day in front of a jury."
The parents have alleged that Jones profited from his conspiracy theories. And while he denies the claim, he has not handed over records—transcripts and video of his on-air comments, for example—that prosecutors say they need to prove their case. Jones has since admitted in court that the shooting did, in fact, take place but says his comments were protected as free speech. (Read more Alex Jones stories.)