US radio host and prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has lost another legal case after falsely calling a mass school shooting a “hoax”.
In 2012, twenty children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Mr Jones, on the other hand, claimed that the event was staged by gun control advocates and the mainstream media.
He will now be required to pay the legal fees of the parents of two six-year-old boys who were killed in the attack.
Mr Jones has long claimed on his radio show and the right-wing Infowars website that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was “completely fake” and a “huge hoax.”
He has faced a slew of legal cases from the victims’ parents. In response, he acknowledged the shooting but denied wrongdoing to the families.
- BACKGROUND: Sandy Hook: What happened that day
- LEGAL CASE: Sandy Hook parents sue for defamation
- VOICES: Sandy Hook to Trump: ‘Help us stop conspiracy theorists’
A Texas judge ruled on Thursday that Mr Jones had repeatedly failed to turn over legal documents and evidence to the court to back up his claims about the attack. As a result, a default judgement was handed down.
By failing to turn over the files, Mr Jones and the other defendants demonstrated “flagrant bad faith and callous disregard,” according to Judge Maya Guerra Gamble.
The ruling requires him and Infowars to pay an undisclosed sum to the parents of Noah Pozner and Jesse Lewis, two six-year-old boys who died. Another trial will be held to determine the amount.
The decision was described as “stunning” by Mr Jones and an Infowars lawyer.
“We are distressed by what we regard as the trial court’s blatant abuse of discretion,” they said in a statement.
Mr Jones’s lawyers argue his comments were protected by free speech rights.
But he has lost several defamation lawsuits brought against him for his claims on the attack. Last year, Mr Jones was ordered to pay more than $100,000 (£76,000) to the father of another six-year-old child who was killed at Sandy Hook.
Alex Jones has been banned by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for hate speech and abusive behaviour.
Sandy Hook remains one of the deadliest school shootings in American history.
On December 14, 2012, a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at the school in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children between the ages of five and ten, as well as six staff members.
Parents of Sandy Hook victims who have spoken publicly about their experiences have been harassed by trolls who make false allegations about the shooting, both online and in person.