Texas jury orders Alex Jones to pay $4 million to Sandy Hook family in defamation suit
Jones was found liable in the defamation suit for his false claims that the 2012 massacre was staged
A Texas jury Thursday ordered Infowars founder Alex Jones to pay $4 million to the family of a Sandy Hook shooting victim for claiming that the massacre never happened.
The jury has yet to decide on the amount Jones must pay in punitive damages, the Associated Press reported. The $4 million represents compensatory damages. Jones has previously said that any amount over $2 million would "sink" him.
Twenty students and six adults died in December 2012 massing shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut.
Following the shooting, Jones repeatedly claimed on his show that the massacre was "staged" by the U.S. government as a pretense for gun confiscation. He claimed that the parents and families of the victims were "crisis actors" being paid for their performance.
He has since apologized and did so again this week in court.
In the wake of Jones’ claims, his supporters repeatedly harassed the parents, confronting them publicly and sending them death threats. Jones faces two other defamation suits this year, and has already been found liable in two others.
The plaintiffs, Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, are seeking at least $150 million in compensation for defamation and emotional distress. Their son, Jesse Lewis, was killed in his first-grade classroom.
"I can’t even describe the last nine and a half years, the living hell that I and others have had to endure because of the recklessness and negligence of Alex Jones,” Heslin said in court.
Jones finally conceded under oath Wednesday that the shooting happened.
"Especially since I’ve met the parents. It’s 100% real," Jones he told the parents. "I never intentionally tried to hurt you. I never said your name until this came to court."
Two other families won similar suits against Jones, and juries will later this month determine how much he owes.