A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday blocked Sandy Hook victims’ families from immediately collecting assets from Alex Jones’ media company, Free Speech Systems. Judge Christopher Lopez sided with court-appointed trustee Christopher Murray, who accused certain families of a “value-destructive money grab” and argued for an orderly wind-down and sale of the company. Lopez agreed, instructing Murray to continue assessing and liquidating assets, with a review set for next month.

The dispute highlights a rift between Sandy Hook families who filed defamation lawsuits in Texas and Connecticut, where the 2012 massacre occurred. The plaintiffs were awarded nearly $1.5 billion in 2022, but have yet to collect due to Jones’ bankruptcy filing.

Lopez previously ruled that Jones’ bankruptcy could be converted to liquidate his personal assets, though Free Speech Systems’ bankruptcy case was dismissed, allowing creditors to pursue state court rights. Despite this, Murray and Connecticut plaintiffs support an orderly liquidation to ensure fair asset distribution, while Texas plaintiffs sought immediate collection.

Lawyers for the Texas plaintiffs urged Lopez not to block them, citing a prior ruling placing Free Speech Systems under state jurisdiction. However, Lopez noted this conflicted with his decision to allow the trustee control. Texas plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Bankston expressed frustration, believing the case remains in limbo to Jones’ benefit.

Connecticut plaintiffs’ lawyer Christopher Mattei supported the judge’s decision, emphasizing a fair asset distribution path. Lopez avoided delving into family disputes, focusing on legal protocols.

Court filings indicate Jones has about $9 million in personal assets, with Free Speech Systems holding $6 million in cash and over $1 million in inventory. Jones warned on his show that the hearing could push Infowars closer to shutting down, claiming efforts aim to silence him rather than collect money.

Jones said, “I know it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting for me, this roller-coaster battle as the establishment tries to shut down Infowars,” adding that broadcasting profits should help pay creditors, but alleging, “they don’t want money, they want me silenced.”