VICTORIA, Texas (AP) – A federal judge in Texas on Friday dismissed the bankruptcy protection case of Infowars and two other companies controlled by Alex Jones, the result of an agreement between lawyers for the conspiracy theorist and parents of some of the children slain in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
US Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez approved the deal after a brief court hearing. The judge’s action allows the parents’ defamation lawsuits against Jones to continue in Texas and Connecticut, where trials are pending on how much he should pay families after judges in both states found Jones and his companies liable for damages.
The families’ lawsuits say they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy. Jones, based in Austin, Texas, has since said he believes the shooting did occur.
Relatives of eight of the 20 first graders and six educators killed in the massacre and an FBI agent who responded to the school in Newtown, Connecticut, are suing Jones and Free Speech Systems.
Infowars, Prison Planet TV and IW Health consented to dismiss the bankruptcy case last week after the families agreed to drop the three companies from their defamation lawsuits. Those lawsuits will continue against Jones himself and his largest moneymaking company, Free Speech Systems.
The families and the US trustee’s office – a Justice Department agency that oversees bankruptcy cases – had questioned the legitimacy of the three companies’ bankruptcy filing and sought to throw out the case, saying it was only a tactic to delay the lawsuits. Jones’ lawyers denied the allegations.