By DAVE COLLINS Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Lawyers for the families of children and adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School disclosed Monday that child pornography was found in electronic files sent to them by conspiracy theorist Infowars host Alex Jones.
The pornography was found in email metadata files Jones' attorneys turned over to the families' lawyers as part of the discovery process of a defamation lawsuit, which was filed in a Connecticut court last year in response to discussions on Jones' show about the school shooting being a hoax.
Jones' attorney, Norman Pattis, said the child pornography was in emails sent to Jones that were never opened and he denied Jones did anything wrong. Pattis said federal authorities are investigating who sent the emails.
Appearing angry on his web show based in Austin, Texas, Jones accused one of the families' lawyers, Christopher Mattei, of planting the child pornography in the files in an effort to frame Jones. He also offered a $1 million reward for information on who sent the emails containing child porn.
In a motion filed in Waterbury Superior Court on Monday, lawyers for the families accused Jones of threatening Mattei by naming him on the show, showing his photo and wrongly accusing him of planting the child pornography. The motion will be discussed at a court hearing on Tuesday. Pattis denied that Jones threatened Mattei.
"Total war! You want it, you got it!" Jones said on the show while talking about Mattei, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general last year. "I'm not into kids like your Democratic party. ... So get ready!"
Other lawyers for the families, William Bloss, Alinor Sterling and Matthew Blumethal, said in the motion that they notified the FBI about the numerous child porn images.
The two sides have been battling over documents and discovery issues in the lawsuit for months.
"Unfortunately this drama has taken on a life of its own with each side parrying for position," Pattis said.
The families of eight victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, and an FBI agent who responded to the massacre are suing Jones, Infowars and others for promoting a theory that the shooting was a hoax. A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 first-graders, six educators and himself at the school, after having killed his mother at their Newtown home.
The plaintiffs said they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones' followers because of the hoax conspiracy.
Jones has since said he believes the shooting occurred.