Infowars’ Alex Jones ordered to pay $4.1 million to Sandy Hook parents [Video]
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
August 6, 2022 at 7:16 am
What happened to Mr. Jones’ right to free speech? He is an internet personality who is known for embellishing stories, so how is it that most of his embellishments do no harm whatsoever, but this one did at least $4.1 million in undeclared damages? And just what are the damages? The payout was ordered as compensation for losses, so just what did this couple actually lose? So far, I have been unable to find any such details.
August 6, 2022 at 1:43 pm
Agree. Did Mr. Jones single out Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis to defame them specifically? Challenging an “official” narrative, whether it’s Sandy Hook or the 2020 presidential election, free speech should be protected per the 1st Amendment, shouldn’t it? We might not agree with or like someone’s opinions, but I don’t see how Mr. Jones personally defamed anyone unless he specifically targeted them (which I doubt).
And from what I’ve read about the trial, is it true that Texas law caps punitive damages at $750K per plaintiff, so the $45m is reduced to $1.5m? And is it true that the judge prohibited Mr. Jones from testifying or presenting evidence in his own defense? I don’t know, but it seems like a good possibility of an appeal coming, then probably on to SCOTUS…
August 7, 2022 at 10:09 am
Those are my reactions, as well. I will go one step further and suggest that anything past your first statement is irrelevant to the question. “What happened to Mr. Jones’ right to free speech?” Period. $1 or $4 million dollars. How much now will other free speakers, i.e., all of us, have to pay if we say anything that is disagreeable to the plaintiff?
August 7, 2022 at 7:08 pm
They lost a child, but that wasn’t because Alex Jones personally killed their baby. He over egged a conspiracy story that has now got him into deep legal shit. This unfortunately has all the hallmarks of a political vendetta with these grieving parents being used as the vehicle to go after one of the Left’s current most hated Right wing figures. This is not justice I’m afraid, merely another in a long line now of maliciously motivated hit jobs.