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Sandy Hook Parents Sue Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones For Defamation

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Alex Jones has long claimed the Sandy Hook massacre either did not happen or was staged by the government.

Parents of two children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are suing radio show host Alex Jones for defamation.

The conspiracy theorist has long claimed on "The Alex Jones Show" and his website InfoWars that the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax intended to promote gun control. Twenty children and six adults were killed in the attack.

The parents filed two lawsuits in Travis County District Court on Monday, each seeking $1 million in damages. One was filed by Leonard Pozner and his former wife, Veronique De La Rosa, whose 6-year-old son, Noah, was killed by the gunman. The other suit was filed by Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, died.

One suit points to accusations made by Jones and InfoWars that De La Rosa was an actor in a faked interview on CNN to cover up the "truth" that the massacre either did not exist or was staged by the government. The other points to a segment on InfoWars in which Heslin was accused of lying about whether he actually held his son's body and saw a bullet hole in his head.

The parents allege Jones' conspiracy theories and false claims have led to death threats.

“Our clients have been tormented for five years by Mr. Jones’ ghoulish accusations that they are actors who faked their children’s deaths as part of a fraud on the American people," their lawyer, Mark Bankston, said in a statement. "Enough is enough.”

Jones was named in another defamation lawsuit filed in Travis County earlier this month. Massachusetts resident Marcel Fontaine is suing him for falsely reporting he was the Parkland, Fla., high school shooter, who killed 17 students in February.

No court dates have been assigned to the cases yet.

Joseph Leahy anchors morning newscasts for NPR's statewide public radio collaborative, Texas Newsroom. He began his career in broadcast journalism as a reporter for St. Louis Public Radio in 2011. The following year, he helped launch Delaware's first NPR station, WDDE, as an afternoon newscaster and host. Leahy returned to St. Louis in 2013 to anchor local newscasts during All Things Considered and produce news on local and regional issues. In 2016, he took on a similar role as the local Morning Edition newscaster at KUT in Austin, before moving over to the Texas Newsroom.