Jurors start deliberations in Alex Jones Sandy Hook defamation trial By Reuters

© Reuters. Infowars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media after showing at his Sandy Hook defamation trial at Connecticut Superior Courtroom in Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S., October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Segar

By Jack Queen

(Reuters) -A Connecticut jury started deliberating Thursday in a trial to resolve how a lot conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his firm should pay households of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass capturing for falsely claiming the bloodbath was a hoax.

The deliberations come after three weeks of trial in Waterbury, Connecticut, not removed from the place a gunman killed 20 babies and 6 employees members at Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty in December 2012. Jurors have been despatched dwelling after an hour of deliberations Thursday and can resume them on Friday.

Jones claimed for years that the bloodbath was staged by the federal government as a part of a plot to remove People’ weapons.

In closing arguments earlier Thursday, legal professionals for the households of eight Sandy Hook victims mentioned Jones and his firm, Free Speech Programs LLC, cashed in for years on lies concerning the capturing, which drove visitors to his Infowars web site and gross sales of merchandise there.

The households, in the meantime, suffered a decade-long marketing campaign of harassment and demise threats by Jones’ followers, lawyer Chris Mattei mentioned.

“Each single certainly one of these households have been drowning in grief, and Alex Jones put his foot proper on high of them,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Chris Mattei advised jurors.

Jones’ lawyer, Norman Pattis, countered throughout his closing argument that the plaintiffs had proven scant proof of quantifiable losses. Pattis urged jurors to disregard the political undercurrents within the case.

“This isn’t a case about politics, I remind you that,” he mentioned. “It’s about how a lot to compensate the plaintiffs.”

The trial was marked by weeks of anguished testimony from the households, who stuffed the gallery every day and took turns recounting how Jones’ lies about Sandy Hook compounded their grief. An FBI agent who responded to the capturing can be a plaintiff within the case.

Jones, who has since acknowledged the capturing occurred, additionally testified and briefly threw the trial into chaos as he railed towards his “liberal” critics and refused to apologize to the households.

In August, one other jury discovered Jones and his firm should pay $49.3 million to Sandy Hook mother and father in the same case in Austin, Texas, the place Infowars relies.

Jones’ legal professionals hope to void many of the payout earlier than it’s accredited by a choose, calling it extreme underneath Texas regulation.

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