Alex Jones ordered to pay Sandy Hook parents more than $4 million

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By Carina Murphy

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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $4.1 million to the parents of a child killed at the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, BBC News reports.

The controversial podcast host was taken to court by the grieving family after he falsely claimed that the shooting was a hoax.

After a two-week trial in Austin, Texas, a jury found him guilty on Thursday and awarded separated parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $4.1 million in compensatory damages.

While this sum is far less than the millions Heslin and Lewis originally sought, the 12-person jury is now set to consider their request for punitive damages.

During the trial, the parents - who lost their six-year-old son Jesse Lewis in the Connecticut shooting - testified that Jones' followers harassed them and sent them death threats for years because of the commentator's false claims.

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Alex Jones in court. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

For years, Jones disseminated the conspiracy theory that the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School - in which 20 children and six staff members were killed - was staged by mainstream media and gun-control activists.

After sticking to this story while on the witness stand, Jones eventually acknowledged that the shooting took place after Heslin and Lewis' legal team presented the jury with two years' worth of his text messages which his own lawyers had accidentally sent them.

Jones admitted that the attack was "100% real", but continued to try and distance himself from the harassing behavior of his followers towards grieving families.

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Scarlett Lewis testifies. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Per the Associated Press, an attorney for the parents, Mark Banston, told reporters that they were happy with the sum awarded, but added: "We aren't done, folks."

"We knew coming into this case it was necessary to shoot for the moon to get the jury to understand we were serious and passionate. After tomorrow, he's going to owe a lot more," he said.

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Mark Banston speaks outside court. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

Meanwhile, it is uncertain whether Jones will be capable of paying the damages after his company, Free Speech Systems LLC, declared bankruptcy last week.

Despite being banned by YouTube, Spotify, and Twitter for hate speech, the far-right outlet continued to operate and has attacked the judge and jurors in Jones' trial throughout his time in court.

Featured Image Credit: Pool/Bob Daemmrich Photography / Alamy

Alex Jones ordered to pay Sandy Hook parents more than $4 million

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $4.1 million to the parents of a child killed at the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, BBC News reports.

The controversial podcast host was taken to court by the grieving family after he falsely claimed that the shooting was a hoax.

After a two-week trial in Austin, Texas, a jury found him guilty on Thursday and awarded separated parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $4.1 million in compensatory damages.

While this sum is far less than the millions Heslin and Lewis originally sought, the 12-person jury is now set to consider their request for punitive damages.

During the trial, the parents - who lost their six-year-old son Jesse Lewis in the Connecticut shooting - testified that Jones' followers harassed them and sent them death threats for years because of the commentator's false claims.

wp-image-1263164032 size-full
Alex Jones in court. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

For years, Jones disseminated the conspiracy theory that the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School - in which 20 children and six staff members were killed - was staged by mainstream media and gun-control activists.

After sticking to this story while on the witness stand, Jones eventually acknowledged that the shooting took place after Heslin and Lewis' legal team presented the jury with two years' worth of his text messages which his own lawyers had accidentally sent them.

Jones admitted that the attack was "100% real", but continued to try and distance himself from the harassing behavior of his followers towards grieving families.

wp-image-1263164033 size-full
Scarlett Lewis testifies. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Per the Associated Press, an attorney for the parents, Mark Banston, told reporters that they were happy with the sum awarded, but added: "We aren't done, folks."

"We knew coming into this case it was necessary to shoot for the moon to get the jury to understand we were serious and passionate. After tomorrow, he's going to owe a lot more," he said.

wp-image-1263164035 size-full
Mark Banston speaks outside court. Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy

Meanwhile, it is uncertain whether Jones will be capable of paying the damages after his company, Free Speech Systems LLC, declared bankruptcy last week.

Despite being banned by YouTube, Spotify, and Twitter for hate speech, the far-right outlet continued to operate and has attacked the judge and jurors in Jones' trial throughout his time in court.

Featured Image Credit: Pool/Bob Daemmrich Photography / Alamy