...Lawyers for the parents had asked the judge to sanction Jones for violating rules on pretrial discovery, as well as previous court orders, by withholding vital information that was first requested in 2018.
"We still don't have the most basic information about this case," lawyer Mark Bankston told the judge during an Aug. 31 hearing, arguing that Jones failed to provide a wide range of requested evidence, including video of his on-air discussions about Sandy Hook, transcripts and the content from social media.
"Now we're talking about having to find people three years out ... to see who was involved in this case, who might still have documents," Bankston said. "The quality of the evidence and of people's memories all degrades."
Jones also declined to directly answer many of the questions asked during a sworn deposition, he said.
Because the pattern of abuse was so pervasive, Bankston said the parents should be able to skip next year's trials on whether Jones defamed them and proceed directly to determining how much money they're owed in damages.
In her order, signed Monday but released Thursday, Guerra Gamble agreed, saying lighter sanctions -- such as additional monetary penalties or an order banning Jones from introducing certain evidence -- would raise legal costs for the Sandy Hook parents while doing little to correct "persistent discovery abuses" by Jones.
"After five years of Mr. Jones' monstrous harassment against these families, and after three years of making a mockery of their lawsuits, Mr. Jones is finally going to suffer the consequences for the decisions he made," Bankston said ...