WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A Texas jury ordered that Alex Jones must pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages to two parents whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook massacre.
- Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis sued Jones for defamation over his bogus “hoax” claims about the 2012 shooting.
- The jury’s final award is far below the $150 million requested by attorneys for Heslin and Lewis.
Alex Jones on Thursday was ordered by a jury to pay at least $4.1 million in damages to the parents of one of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Jones, the conspiracy theorist behind Infowars, already lost his defamation lawsuit. The jurors in the Texas case were trying to determine how much he owed in compensatory damages to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin — the parents of 6-year-old Jesse who was among the 26 killed in the school shooting.
Jurors will now move on to the next phase of the proceedings to decide on how much to award in punitive damages. They had sought $150 million in damages.
After Jones’ repeated bogus claims that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was a “hoax,” the parents said that they then faced death threats and ongoing harassment.
The televised trial this week put Jones face to face with the parents, as they testified to the harm caused by his claims that the school shootings were a hoax. Jones, on the stand over two days, said that he now believes that Sandy Hook was “100% real,” while trying to push back on the idea that he was an ongoing denier of what happened.
But on Wednesday, Jones faced rigorous cross-examination from the parents’ lawyer, Mark Bankston. The attorney revealed to Jones that his attorneys had accidentally sent him two years’ worth of his text messages and emails.
On Thursday, Bankston told the court that the January 6th Committee has requested those messages. Jones, who also claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, was deposed as part of the January 6th Committee investigation. The judge in the case, Maya Guerra Gamble, denied a defense motion to seal the records and declare a mistrial.
Jones faces a damages trial in another case in Connecticut filed by a group of Sandy Hook families, as well as another case in Texas, where his company is based.
During the most recent trial, the parents’ attorney also confronted Jones with recent Infowars attacks on Gamble as well as Jones’ own characterization of the jury as “extremely blue collar folks.”
Source: The Hill