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Jury selection will take place overnight in a trial that will determine for the first time how much Infowars host Alex Jones must pay parents at Sandy Hook Elementary School for falsely telling his audience that the shooting in deadliest class in US history was a hoax.
The trial in Austin, Texas – where the conspiracy theorist lives and airs his show – follows months of delays. Jones racked up fines for ignoring court orders, and he placed Infowars under bankruptcy protection just before the trial began in April.
At stake for Jones is another potentially major financial hit that could put his constellation of conspiracy peddling businesses in jeopardy. He has previously been banned from YouTube, Facebook and Spotify for violating hate speech policies.
The lawsuit involving the parents of two Sandy Hook families is just the beginning for Jones; damages have yet to be awarded in separate defamation cases for other families from the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
The lawsuits do not ask jurors to award a specific dollar amount against Jones.
Courts in Texas and Connecticut have already found Jones liable for defamation for his portrayal of the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax involving actors aimed at increasing gun control. In both states, judges entered default judgments against Jones without a trial because he failed to respond to court orders and turn over documents.
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