© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Infowars founder Alex Jones speaks to the media after showing at his Sandy Hook defamation trial at Connecticut Superior Court docket in Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S., October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photograph
By Jack Queen
(Reuters) -A Connecticut jury has reached a damages verdict in a case to determine how a lot conspiracy theorist Alex Jones should pay households of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass taking pictures for falsely claiming they had been actors who faked the tragedy.
The jury is anticipated to offer an in depth evaluation of damages.
The decision comes after three weeks of testimony in a state court docket in Waterbury, Connecticut, not removed from the place a gunman killed 20 youngsters and 6 employees members at Sandy Hook Elementary College in December 2012. Jones claimed for years that the bloodbath was staged as a part of a authorities plot to remove Individuals’ weapons.
In August, one other jury discovered Jones and his firm should pay $49.3 million to a separate pair of Sandy Hook mother and father after a trial in Austin, Texas, the place the headquarters of Jones’ Infowars conspiracy principle web site is situated.
Attorneys for households of eight Sandy Hook victims throughout closing arguments in Connecticut final week stated Jones cashed in for years on lies in regards to the taking pictures, which drove visitors to his Infowars web site and boosted gross sales of its numerous merchandise.
The households, in the meantime, suffered a decade-long marketing campaign of harassment and demise threats by Jones’ followers, legal professional Chris Mattei stated.
“Each single one among these households (was) drowning in grief, and Alex Jones put his foot proper on high of them,” Mattei informed jurors.
Jones’ lawyer countered throughout his closing arguments that the plaintiffs had proven scant proof of quantifiable losses. The legal professional, Norman Pattis, urged jurors to disregard the political undercurrents within the case.
“This isn’t a case about politics,” Pattis stated. “It’s about how a lot to compensate the plaintiffs.”
The trial was marked by weeks of anguished testimony from the households, who crammed the gallery every day and took turns recounting how Jones’ lies about Sandy Hook compounded their grief. An FBI agent who responded to the taking pictures can also be a plaintiff within the case.
Jones, who has since acknowledged that the taking pictures occurred, additionally testified and briefly threw the trial into chaos as he railed in opposition to his “liberal” critics and refused to apologize to the households.
Jones’ attorneys have stated they hope to void a lot of the payout within the Texas case earlier than it’s accepted by a choose, calling it extreme underneath state regulation.