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Alex Jones is ordered to pay $45.2 MILLION in punitive damages to one Sandy Hook family a day after he was hit with $4.1million charge: Now faces two further defamation trials
- Friday’s verdict means that Jones will have to pay the family of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was shot dead in the Sandy Hook massacre, nearly $50 million
- In closing statement, a lawyer for Lewis’ family reminded the jury that Jones is said to be worth $270 million
- This is the first of three trials that Jones will face in relation to his claims that the 2012 school shooting was ‘false flag’ performed by the US government
- Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis were seeking $145 million in damages while Jones’ lawyers were asking for the figure to be $270,000
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the family of slain 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, one of the 26 people were shot dead in the Sandy Hook massacre.
That’s in addition to the $4 million in compensatory damages the InfoWars host was ordered to pay yesterday to parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis.
In his closing statement, the lawyer for the victims’ families said: ‘Alex Jones is worth almost $270 million that we know of. Please take an amount that punishes him, and an amount that ensures he never does this again.’
This is the first of three trials that Jones will face in relation to his claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax. Last year, he was found guilty of defaming the families of the victims.
Two others are set for September, one in Texas and one in Connecticut, where the shooting took place. A total of eight families will be represented in the Connecticut trial.
Following Thursday’s verdict of $4 million in damages, Jones bizarrely invited the Lewis family to appear on his show ‘to discuss feelings about how the trial unfolded.’
For years Jones claimed on his InfoWars platform that the shooting in Newton was a ‘false flag’ operation perpetrated by the US government to further gun control.
The 12-person jury on Thursday said Jones must pay the parents $4.1 million in compensatory damages for spreading conspiracy theories about the massacre
Jones’ lawyer Federico Andino Reynal asked jurors for the fine to be $270,000
Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis, becomes emotional during his testimony during the trial for Alex Jones
Jones’ lawyer, Federico Andino Reynal, immediately objected to the ruling citing a Texas law that caps plaintiff compensation at $750,000 per person.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble. acknowledged the objection.
Judge Gamble went on to say she was not blocking Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin’s lawyers from handing over Jones’ phone data to law enforcement. On Wednesday, it emerged that Jones’ lawyers accidentally sent his phone’s data to the Lewis and Heslin’s lawyers. The data contained two years of text messages.
‘We ask that you send a very, very simple message, and that is: stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies,’ Wesley Todd Ball, a lawyer for the parents, told jurors before they began deliberations.
Reynal asked jurors to return a verdict of $270,000 based on the number of hours Infowars devoted to Sandy Hook coverage.
The 12-person jury on Thursday said Jones must pay the parents $4.1 million in compensatory damages for spreading conspiracy theories about the massacre. That verdict followed a two-week trial in Austin, Texas, where Jones’ radio show and webcast Infowars are based.
Mark Bankston, lawyer for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, reacts while jurors take a break during closing arguments
Earlier on Friday, forensic economist Bernard Pettingill testified on behalf of Lewis’ parents that Jones ‘promulgated some hate speech and some misinformation’ and ‘made a lot of money.’
Jones and Infowars are worth between $135 million and $270 million combined, Pettingill said.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis testified that Jones’ followers harassed them for years in the false belief that the parents lied about their son’s death.
Jones sought to distance himself from the conspiracy theories during his testimony, apologizing to the parents and acknowledging that Sandy Hook was ‘100% real.’
Jones’ company, Free Speech Systems LLC, declared bankruptcy last week. Jones said during a Monday broadcast that the filing will help the company stay on the air while it appeals.
The bankruptcy declaration paused a similar defamation suit by Sandy Hook parents in Connecticut where, as in Texas, he has already been found liable.