Judge Gives Sandy Hook Families Access to Gunman’s Computer 

WATERBURY, Conn. (CN) — The families of those killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting can access the shooter’s computer, part of a deal that won court approval Thursday in their suit against gunmaker Remington.

Approved Thursday by Judge Barbara Bellis, the stipulation filed in Waterbury Superior Court specifies that the families and attorneys for Remington will “jointly retain a consultant for the sole purpose of creating forensic digital images of certain pieces of evidence.”

An undated identification card that Adam Lanza used at Western Connecticut State University before he opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.  (Western Connecticut State University via CNS)

Donna Soto, whose daughter was one of the teachers killed attempting to shield her first-grade students from gunman Adam Lanza, is the lead plaintiff in the suit. Victoria Leigh Soto was one of six staffers Lanza killed on Dec. 14, 2012. Another 20 first graders were also killed.

She and the other families say Remington targeted younger, at-risk males in marketing the XM15-E2S weapons to civilians for criminal purposes. Though Remington says the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 shields its conduct, Connecticut’s Supreme Court disagreed and advanced the case. In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case.

Lanza was 20 years old at the time of the shooting. He killed his mother at their Newtown home before making his way to Sandy Hook and killed himself there before police could apprehend him. Soto’s family and the others say the Madison, North Carolina-based Remington was negligent in selling a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle to the public.

The families are represented by Koskoff, Koskoff, & Bieder.

During oral arguments in 2017, Josh Koskoff said the marketing campaign behind the AR-15 style Bushmaster firearm started targeting the Lanza when he was 14 years old.

“Remington may never have known Adam Lanza, but they have been courting him for years,” Koskoff said. “And the courtship between Remington and Adam Lanza is at the heart of this case.”

The case isn’t expected to go to trial until next year.

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