NEWTOWN — A federal bankruptcy judge has freed extremist Alex Jones from Chapter 11 protection and sent his defamation cases to state court in Texas, where the parents of two boys killed in the Sandy Hook massacre are awaiting justice. jury trial to see how much Jones will have to pay them.

“(We) are relieved but not surprised that Mr. Jones’ latest stunt failed like all the others,” said Mark Bankston, an attorney representing four parents who won two defamation lawsuits against Jones in Texas last year. . “Mr. Jones will now be held to account in a Travis County courtroom in the coming weeks, and these families will finally get the closure and reward they deserve.

Bankston was referring to a month-long saga in Texas bankruptcy court where three entities controlled by Jones filed for Chapter 11 protection a week before a jury trial began to determine the damages Jones owed to two parents he defamed when he called the worst crime in Connecticut history “staged”, “synthetic”, “fabricated”, “a giant hoax” and “completely bogus with actors”.

The bankruptcy judge’s decision means the first postponed defamation lawsuit in Texas could begin as early as June, Bankston suggested.

Among the revelations that emerged from the bankruptcy court hearings is that Jones suffered financially as Sandy Hook’s defamation cases progressed. Jones spent at least $10 million in legal fees and lost at least $20 million, his representatives said in court. Jones did not file for bankruptcy protection himself, his representative said in court, because he feared it would hurt his brand in the conspiracy theory market.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, where an FBI agent and eight families who lost loved ones in the massacre of 26 first graders and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School also won a libel case against Jones in 2021, a hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in Connecticut bankruptcy court. which should lead to a result similar to the Texas cases.

The reason has to do with a maneuver the Sandy Hook families took here and in Texas to outflank Jones in bankruptcy court.

Jones’ Chapter 11 filing put the two lawsuits in Texas and the third scheduled in Connecticut on hold, as federal court trumps state proceedings. Lawyers for the families here and in Texas have fought Jones’ Chapter 11 petitions as “bad faith” filings, since Jones himself and his lucrative free speech systems have not filed for bankruptcy. The three Jones-controlled entities that filed for Chapter 11 protection have a combined monthly income of $38,000, while Jones himself earned at least $76 million in 2019, his representatives told the court.

In response, the families dropped the three bankrupt Jones business entities from their lawsuits. Because the families no longer had a stake in the bankruptcies, they argued, their lawsuits against Jones and the Free Speech Systems could be sent to state courts for adjudication. The families argued that their target was Jones himself and Free Speech Systems, which were not parties to the bankruptcies.

In rulings released Thursday and Friday, the Texas federal bankruptcy court agreed.

It remains to be seen whether the Connecticut bankruptcy court will rule the same way. The trial to award libel damages to the families of Sandy Hook, Connecticut was scheduled for August.

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