If you’re not an InfoWars regular—ie, if you’re sane—Alex Jones can often seem like an angry clown, buffoonish but ultimately harmless. He’s not. He’s insidious, and one of the worst things he’s ever done is to conduct a long-running campaign in which he insisted that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax. Twenty children died that day in Newtown, CT, along with six adults, but that didn’t matter to Jones. In the process of denying the reality of the 2012 shooting, he made life miserable for the parents and families of those who died—as if their lives weren’t tough enough already. In propagating the conspiracy theory and referring to the parents as “crisis actors,” Jones opened the gates to death threats and other harassment against these families which got so bad they were forced to move multiple times.
Finally, in April, three of those parents decided to sue him for damages exceeding $1 million. Veronique De La Rosa and Leonard Pozner lost their six-year-old son Noah in the Sandy Hook shooting, and Neil Heslin lost his six-year-old son Jessie.
In late July, Jones counter-sued for $100,000 in court costs. Meanwhile, he also tried to get the lawsuits dismissed.
Yesterday, in Austin, TX, Judge Scott Jenkins denied Jones’ motion to have the lawsuits tossed. Per CNN:
“After considering the arguments of counsel and the record, including plaintiffs’ declarations filed on August 2, the court orders that defendants’ motion is in all respects denied,” the court filing said.
Jones and his InfoWars site have recently been banned from YouTube and Facebook, while Apple removed his podcasts from their servers.
Judge Jenkins also rejected a motion dismiss a separate lawsuit against Jones brought by a man who was identified by InfoWars, wrongly, as the perpetrator of February’s Parkland shootings.
These moves bring each case one step closer to trial.