HARTFORD, Conn. — Lawyers for Alex Jones have again missed a deadline to produce financial documents to the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims who are suing him for calling the 2012 massacre a hoax on his Infowars website and internet radio show.
Rather than grant the motion filed by Jones’ new attorney Norm Pattis for another extension until April 3, Judge Barbara Bellis has called for a hearing Friday after lawyers for the family filed a six-page motion objecting to another extension and arguing that Jones has deliberately ignored a series of deadlines and should not have the opportunity to drag the proceedings out.
Pattis became Jones’ attorney March 1 and in his motion to extend the deadline said he has yet to receive any documents to review from Jones’ previous attorney in Connecticut or from his lawyers in a similar Texas case where the documents already have been turned over.
“That the Jones defendants have not provided their counsel documents to be reviewed means they have made no effort to produce by March 20. The extension to March 20, moreover, was for the Jones defendants’ new counsel to get up to speed — not for the Jones defendants to identify and review responsive documents,” attorney Alinor C. Sterling of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder wrote.
“The Jones defendants, after all, had represented that they had substantial compliance ready to produce on February 25. It consequently appears that during the time between February 25 and March 20, the Jones defendants have simply withheld production.”
Bellis has already ruled that not only must Jones turn over the financial documents related to Infowars but she also has authorized depositions of Jones and three other defendants for a total of 19 hours. Bellis ruled the families are “entitled to conduct discovery likely to lead to admissible evidence for the purposes of opposing the motions to dismiss.”
She had already expressed disappointment that documents haven’t been turned over and has threatened to take the unusual step of penalizing Jones and his co-defendants by not allowing their motion to dismiss the case to go forward.
The plaintiffs include the parents of four children killed at the Newtown school: Jacqueline and Mark Barden, parents of Daniel; Nicole and Ian Hockley, parents of Dylan; Francine and David Wheeler, parents of Ben; and Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, parents of Avielle Richman. Other plaintiffs are relatives of slain first-grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto; Erica Lafferty-Garbatini, daughter of slain Principal Dawn Hochsprung; and William Aldenberg, a longtime FBI agent and a first responder.
The lawsuit alleges a yearslong campaign of “abusive and outrageous false statements in which Jones and the other defendants have developed, amplified and perpetuated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and that the 26 families who lost loved ones are paid actors who faked their relatives’ deaths.”
The lawsuit also accuses Jones of orchestrating a sustained attack that lasted for years, accusing family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting was a hoax and inciting others to act on those lies.
The families claim Jones knew the claims were false but that he kept perpetuating them because it was good for his ratings, drew advertisers and made him money.
A previous attorney for Jones, Jay W. Wolman, had already filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming Jones is protected under the First Amendment.