Change Of Venue Sought For Alex Jones Lawsuit
BRIDGEPORT— Lawyers for Alex Jones, host of the controversial internet-based Infowars program, have asked a Connecticut Superior Court judge to move to another part of the state two pending defamation lawsuits against Jones in connection with Jones’ portrayal of the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting incident as a hoax.
In a court motion filed on January 30, attorney Jay Wolman, representing Mr Jones, states, “This case involves a high-profile crime, which is terribly upsetting to the residents of Fairfield County — few of whom have been untouched by the tragedy at Sandy Hook. But this case is not about the crime; it is about the press’s right to question governmental and entrenched-media reporting about a crime and to investigate and express unpopular opinions about it.”
A gunman who shot his way into Sandy Hook School on December 14, 2012, then shot and killed 20 first graders and six adults before killing himself as police approached. The shooter had killed his mother at their Sandy Hook home before breaking into to the school.
In his motion, Mr Wolman added, “Plaintiffs’ counsel is using the media to attack (the) defendants in matters completely unrelated to this case. In doing so, (the) plaintiffs’ attorneys are deliberately stoking the community’s passions against (the) defendants.”
“This pretrial publicity has ensured that (the) defendants will not ever be able to receive a fair trial in Fairfield County. Defendants have the right to a fair trial. Trial courts possess the discretion to transfer cases to another venue if justice requires it,” Mr Wolman adds.
“One of the most common examples of justice requiring a change of venue is adverse pretrial publicity rendering it impossible for a local jury to render a fair and impartial verdict. As such, (the) defendants respectfully request that the court... transfer venue to another community in Connecticut,” the lawyer adds. Mr Wolman asks that the court case be transferred to Windham County, which would place the legal proceeding as far away from Newtown as possible, while remaining within the State of Connecticut.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs are expected to oppose the requested change of venue.
Judge Barbara Bellis is presiding in the case. The next scheduled court activity is a status conference slated for February 14.
The plaintiffs in the case are accusing Jones of subjecting them to harassment and death threats from his followers.
The plaintiffs are the parents of five children killed at Sandy Hook — Jacqueline and Mark Barden, Nicole and Ian Hockley, Francine and David Wheeler, Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, and Robert Parker — as well as Donna Soto, Carlee Soto-Parisi, Carlos M. Soto, and Jillian Soto, the mother and three siblings (respectively) of first grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto; Erica Lafferty-Garbatini, the daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung; and Bill Sherlach, the husband of Mary Sherlach. William “Bill” Aldenberg, an FBI agent and first responder to the scene, is also a plaintiff.
Jones has previously sought to dismiss the lawsuit, without success.
The case, which is commonly known as Lafferty v. Jones, alleges a years-long campaign of abusive and outrageous false statements in which Jones and the other defendants have developed, amplified, and perpetuated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and that the 26 families who lost loved ones that day are paid actors who faked their relatives’ deaths, according to a past statement from Koskoff, Koskoff, & Bieder, the law firm representing the plaintiffs.
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