AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-based conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' attempt to get four defamation lawsuits – filed by the parents of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 – dropped was rejected by the Texas Supreme Court Friday.
The parents of the children sued Jones in Travis County, arguing that they were defamed by Jones and his Austin-based website InfoWars. They also stated in the suit that they suffered emotional distress after InfoWars broadcasts disputed whether the school shooting in 2012 and the news coverage of the incident were authentic.
A 20-year-old gunman shot his way into the school on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, and killed 26 victims before shooting himself. The school building where the shooting occurred was destroyed and a new one was built at the same site, according to the Associated Press.
Friday's ruling by the Texas Supreme Court upheld rulings by two lower courts that had allowed the lawsuits to continue, according to KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman.
The ruling allowed the following four lawsuits to proceed, according to the Statesman:
- Two lawsuits filed by Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis
- 1. which took exception to statements by Jones alleging that the school shooting at Sandy Hook was "a giant hoax."
- 2. disputing Heslin's claim that he had held his dead son in his arms afterward.
- A lawsuit filed by Scarlett Lewis, mother of Jesse Lewis, that noted statements by Jones that the school shooting was "as phony as a three-dollar bill" as well as other statements on InfoWars implying that parents were not genuinely grieving the loss of their children
- Finally, Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, parents of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, quoted broadcasts in which Jones cast the school shooting as a "false flag" hoax intended to create a pretext for the government to limit gun rights.
However, the ruling noted that two members of the court, Justices Jeff Boyd and John Devine, would have granted Jones' petition for review in the Pozner lawsuit, but the court order provided no reasons for their dissent, the Statesman reported.
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