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Alex Jones Loses Sandy Hook Lawsuits Over 'Hoax' Conspiracy

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Alex Jones has been found liable for damages in lawsuits filed by the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims over his claims the massacre was a "hoax."

The 2012 school shooting killed 20 first-graders and six educators in in Newtown, Connecticut.

Jones has since said that he does not believe the massacre was a hoax.

Judge Barbara took the rare step Monday of defaulting him in the defamation lawsuits for his and his companies' "failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims." The default means the judge found in favor of the parents and will hold a hearing on how much damages he should pay.

Lawyers for the parents claimed Jones and his companies, including Infowars and Free Speech Systems, violated court rules by failing to turn over documents to them, including internal company documents showing how, and if, Jones and Infowars profited from talking about the school shooting and other mass shootings.

Jones' lawyers denied violating court rules on document disclosure and asked that Bellis be removed from the case, alleging she has not been impartial.

"While the families are grateful for the Court's ruling, they remain focused on uncovering the truth. As the Court noted, Alex Jones and his companies have deliberately concealed evidence of the relationship between what they publish and how they make money. Mr. Jones was given every opportunity to comply but, when he chose instead to withhold evidence for more than two years, the Court was left with no choice but to rule as it did today," Chris Mattei of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, which represents the families, told CBS2 in a statement. "While today's ruling is a legal victory, the battle to shed light on how deeply Mr. Jones has harmed these families continues."

A Texas judge recently issued similar rulings against Jones in three defamation lawsuits brought by Sandy Hook families in that state, finding Jones liable for damages after defaulting him and his companies for not turning over documents. Hearings on damages also were ordered.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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