Alex Jones should pay $965 million in damages to households of 8 Sandy Hook victims

The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay $965 million to the households of eight Sandy Hook taking pictures victims and an FBI agent who responded to the assault for the struggling he prompted them by spreading lies on his platforms concerning the 2012 bloodbath, a Connecticut jury discovered on Wednesday.

Jones confronted legal responsibility for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional misery and violations of the state Unfair Commerce Practices Act, for making a faux narrative that the mass taking pictures was a hoax. The households claimed Jones profited off the lies whereas they have been harassed and abused by those that believed him.

The jury made 15 particular person awards that ranged from $28.8 million to $120 million. The households and agent additionally acquired separate punitive damages.

A number of members of the family of the victims wept as they heard the jury’s choice within the courtroom. Jones, who was not in court docket, appeared on his on-line present because the jury’s choice was learn, laughing and mocking the quantities being awarded.

Jones’ lawyer has vowed to attraction the choice.

For years, Jones peddled false tales on his radio and on-line present that one of many deadliest college shootings in the USA was “artificial” and a “false flag,” and that the households of the victims have been “disaster actors.” 

Twenty kids and 6 educators have been killed after a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty in Newtown and opened fireplace on Dec. 14, 2012. The trial came about in Waterbury, about 20 miles from Newtown.

Jones had already been discovered liable by a choose after refusing at hand over essential proof earlier than the trial started, and this six-member jury was solely requested to resolve how a lot Jones ought to pay. That is the second trial associated to his Sandy Hook conspiracy theories. In August, a Texas jury ordered Jones to pay practically $50 million in damages to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was killed within the bloodbath.

Throughout closing arguments, Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the households and agent, prompt that Jones needs to be ordered to pay no less than $550 million, saying that the host’s Sandy Hook content material received an estimated 550 million views from 2012 to 2018.

“Their lives have been shattered by December 14, 2012, however Alex Jones has made it to allow them to’t escape,” Mattei instructed the jury. “Each single one among these households have been drowning in grief, and Alex Jones put his foot proper on high of them.”

Jones’ lawyer requested for a extra reasonable verdict, telling jurors to deal with the financial hurt prompted to the households.

In the course of the four-week trial, the jury heard emotional testimony from a number of mother and father of victims about enduring harassment, dying and rape threats on account of Jones’ lies.

Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed, testified that she retains knives and a baseball bat by her mattress as a result of she fears being attacked, and has taken out a big insurance coverage coverage within the occasion she is killed, she mentioned.

“I received despatched photos of useless youngsters, as a result of I used to be instructed that as a disaster actor, I didn’t actually know what a useless child appeared like, so that is what it ought to seem like,” she mentioned.

Mark Barden, who misplaced his son Daniel, mentioned Jones’ followers verbally attacked him and even chased him whereas screaming that he was a liar. He additionally testified that his son’s grave was vandalized. 

“That is so sacrosanct and hallowed a spot for my household and to listen to that individuals have been desecrating it and urinating on it and threatening to dig it up, I don’t know the way to articulate to you what that seems like,” Barden instructed the jury. “However that’s the place we’re.”

The daddy on the middle of most of Jones’ vitriol mentioned he felt he had “failed” his daughter Emilie. 

“I felt like I couldn’t defend Emilie’s title, or her reminiscence anymore,” Robbie Parker mentioned whereas sobbing. 

Parker was awarded the most important quantity at $120 million in compensatory damages.

Jones additionally took the stand, leading to a heated change with Chris Mattei, who represented the households. 

In an indignant outburst, Jones mentioned that “he’s completed being sorry.”

“Is that this a wrestle session? Are we in China?” he exclaimed throughout his testimony after being reminded of those that have been murdered and proven a clip of Parker at a information convention the day after the assault. 

“I’ve already mentioned I’m sorry tons of of instances, and I’m completed saying I’m sorry,” Jones mentioned. 

A defiant Jones mentioned he believed Sandy Hook was a hoax when he unfold his lies. “I legitimately thought it might need been staged and I stand by that. I don’t apologize for it.”

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