New York Daily News

High court nixes Jones’ appeal in kid murders case

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HARTFORD — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was fighting a Connecticu­t court sanction in a defamation lawsuit brought by relatives of some of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Jones (photo) was penalized in 2019 by a trial court judge for an angry outburst on his web show against an attorney for the relatives and for violating numerous orders to turn over documents to the families’ lawyers. Judge Barbara Bellis barred Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the case, which remains pending, and said she would order Jones to pay some of the families’ legal fees.

Jones argued he should not have been sanctioned for exercising his free speech rights. The Connecticu­t Supreme Court upheld Bellis’ ruling last year.

The families and an FBI agent who responded to the shooting, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead, are suing Jones and his show over claims that the massacre was a hoax.

The families said they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy.

Jones, whose show is based in

Austin, Texas, has since said he believes the shooting occurred.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Jones’ request to hear his appeal without comment.

Jones’ attorney Norman Pattis called the court’s decision “a disappoint­ment.”

“Judge Bellis, and the Connecticu­t Supreme Court, asserted frightenin­g and standardle­ss power over the extrajudic­ial statements of litigants,” Pattis said in an email to The Associated Press.

“Mr. Jones never threatened anyone; had he done so, he would have been charged with a crime.

“We are inching our way caseby-case toward a toothless, politicall­y correct, First Amendment.”

Joshua Koskoff, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families, said Jones deserved to be sanctioned for his threatenin­g comments on his show.

“The families are eager to resume their case and to hold Mr. Jones and his financial network accountabl­e for their actions,” Koskoff said in a statement.

“From the beginning, our goal has been to prevent future victims of mass shootings from being preyed on by opportunis­ts.”

The Newtown families are suing Jones, Infowars and others for defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

They are seeking damages that have yet to be determined.

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