Parents of Sandy Hook Victims Blocked from Accessing Alex Jones Payout

By: David Donovan | Published: Jun 28, 2024

The parents of a Sandy Hook victim tried to start collecting the $50 million they won in a lawsuit against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, but a federal bankruptcy judge stopped them on Thursday.

After Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy reorganization failed earlier this month, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis obtained an order from a Texas state judge allowing them to begin immediately collecting the company’s assets.

Efforts Blocked

Nonetheless, on Thursday, Southern District of Texas Judge Christopher Lopez put the brakes on those endeavors when he said that the express adjudicator’s decision clashed with government liquidation regulation. 

Memorial for Sandy Hook victims set up on the side of the road

Wikimedia Commons user Bbjeter

Before he completed the sale of Infowars’ parent company, Lopez sided with a new trustee appointed by the court who had accused some Sandy Hook families of attempting a “value-destructive money grab.”


Jones’ Assets

According to Lopez, the trustee will continue to sell Jones’ assets, including Infowars, and then divide the proceeds equally among all of Jones’ creditors. 

Alex Jones & Paul Joseph Watson among camera crew and crowd

Flickr user Tyler Merbler

Among the creditors are different family members of Sandy Hook victims who were granted more than $1.4 billion in lawsuits over Jones’ false claims that the 2012 mass shooting was a fabrication.

Parent’s Frustrations

Representative of Jesse’s parents Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, Mark Bankston, told The Daily Beast his clients were “frustrated that they will not be allowed to pursue their state courts rights after all.”

Mark Bankston addressing the press microphones outside courthouse

X user BankstonAtLaw

Bankston went on to say: “Apparently this case will remain in limbo much to Mr. Jones’ delight while the other group of plaintiffs insist they are entitled to nearly all the recovery, refusing to treat all parents equally.”

Representative Statement

“Our clients have repeatedly offered to act as equal partners in collections with other plaintiffs against Jones, with all parents collecting an equal amount, but we have been continually rebutted,” according to Bankston.

Mark Bankston with son as they are filmed in their home

X user BankstonAtLaw

Jones said on his Infowars show on Thursday that he planned to restart his broadcasts on another platform when Infowars shuts down in a few months, according to the AP. He labeled Lewis and Heslin’s endeavors in state court “illegal.”

Bankruptcy Attorney

Vickie Driver, his bankruptcy attorney, issued the following statement to The Daily Beast: “Mr. Jones spent over two years trying to pay the plaintiffs more than he had ever made, and none of it was enough.” 

Alex Jones protesting in Dallas, TX speaking into a microphone while people film him

Flickr user Sean P. Anderson

She went on to say: “He continues to work with the Trustee to maximize the remaining value of his estate and the Free Speech assets for the benefit of the plaintiffs who want to be paid, and do not seek solely to silence him. As Judge Lopez said on June 14th, these cases were never about shutting down his show, but trying to pay creditors.”


Separate Lawsuits

The shocking block is the latest legal maneuver in an ongoing battle to get money from Jones in two separate lawsuits, one in Connecticut, where the school shooting occurred, and one in Texas, where he lives. 

Alex Jones speaking at a podium wearing a suit

Wikimedia Commons user Jared Holt

Even though Jones’ hoax claims caused the emotional distress and defamation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School parents in 2022, they have not received any of the money since he filed for bankruptcy following the two verdicts.


Connecticut Case

According to NBC, families in the Connecticut case also opposed the Texas plaintiffs’ push to ask a state judge to compel Free Systems to turn over “all money,” arguing that doing so could spark a dispute over who would get Jones’ assets.

Headshot of radio host Alex Jones in December 2017.

Wikimedia Commons user Michael Zimmermann

In a filing this week in support of the trustee’s emergency request, the Connecticut Families wrote, “To be clear, the Connecticut Families support an orderly liquidation of FSS’s assets and pro rata distributions among FSS’s creditors that hold valid claims.” 


Claims about Texas

The Connecticut Families went on to say: “The Texas Families, quite clearly, do not have the same goals. Rather, they seek preferential treatment and outsized recoveries by attempting to win the very race to the courthouse that they claimed to eschew on June 14.”

Sandy Hook Promise sign with view of the back of a man and people in the background

X user sandyhook

However, according to Bankston, his clients “favored a bankruptcy plan that would pay the families tens of millions while forcing Jones to never speak about Sandy Hook again, but the other plaintiffs also vetoed that plan,” as reported by The Daily Beast. 


Clients Goals

Bankston added that his group would keep on pushing for “resolution, closure, and peace” for their clients.

Christopher Mattei posing for a picture with his dad outdoors on the grass

X user ChrisMatteiCT

Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the families in the Connecticut lawsuit, told the Associated Press, “The Connecticut families have always sought a fair and equitable distribution of Free Speech System’s assets for all of the families, and today’s decision sets us back on that path.”


Lopez Input

On Thursday, Lopez declined to begin resolving the dispute in court and appeared to be aware of the ongoing division between the two families.

Sandy Hook Promise flyer in a ballroom blurred in the background

X user sandyhook

He said, “Let’s just follow the rules, follow the code and follow the order.”


Trustee Authority

According to Lopez the trustee of FSS, Christopher Murray, has authority under federal law to sell off company assets.

Alex Jones with Tucker Carlson in a boat on a river

X user WulffJones

Furthermore, Murray is able to distribute these proceeds equitably among all of Jones’ creditors.

This includes other relatives of Sandy Hook victims who were recipients of over $1.4 billion in another lawsuit.