Alex Jones Defamation Trial: Key Takeaways on Sandy Hook, Infowars and More
Jury deliberations are underway following a two-week trial marked by several dramatic moments and revelations.Jones has already been found liable for defamation in Texas and Connecticut due to making repeated false claims that the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut—the most deadly elementary school shooting in U.S. history—was a hoax. A second trial to determine damages in Connecticut was expected to begin following jury selection this week but has been delayed due to a last-minute bankruptcy filing for Jones' media company Free Speech System.
The jury in the defamation suit against Alex Jones ordered the “Infowars” host to pay $4.1 million to the parents of a child who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
A default judgment against Jones has already been handed down.
Jurors spent Thursday deliberating on the dollar amount the 48-year-old right-wing conspiracy-pusher owes to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis died in that Newtown, Conn. slaughter. Their deliberations began around 5 p.m. Wednesday and lasted just over 24 hours.
Thursday’s decision was just for actual damages. Jurors will reconvene on Friday to decide punitive damages.
Alex Jones Rants at 'Damn Lawyers' After Sandy Hook Trial
Alex Jones has been ordered to pay Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $4.1 million, with punitive damages still to be determined.Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse Lewis was killed in the school shooting, had initially asked the jury to order Jones to pay up to $150 million in damages.
Jones had alleged on his show the killings were faked by gun control advocates for political purposes. In court Wednesday, a decade after the fact, he conceded the massacre was 100% real.
“I unintentionally took part in things that did hurt these people’s feelings,” Jones apologized on the witness stand. © J. Scott Applewhite Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones appears at Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 11, 2018.
Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones appears at Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 11, 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite/)
Heslin testified that the “recklessness” of Jones’ broadcasts caused him “9½ years of living hell” after the death of his son. He claims to have gotten death threats from people who believed Jones’ lies.
Alex Jones concedes Sandy Hook attack was '100% real'
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax.Speaking a day after the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the 2012 attack testified about the suffering, death threats and harassment they've endured because of what Jones has trumpeted on his media platforms, the Infowars host told a Texas courtroom that he definitely thinks the attack happened.
The plaintiffs in the case were asking for $150 million in damages. The conservative talk show host’s legal team had asked that damages be limited to $8. Jones claimed a judgment of $2 million would “sink” his broadcasting business.
Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal argued the plaintiff failed to demonstrate Jones’ misinformation led to actual harm or harassment and that no one was defamed.
Parents of Sandy Hook victim traumatized by ongoing harassment by Alex Jones’ followers: psychiatrist
A lawyer representing the victim’s family revealed in court Wednesday that Jones’ attorneys had “messed up” by inadvertently sending text messages and emails from Jones’ phone that allegedly contradict parts of his testimony and give clearer insight into his worth. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble has admonished the Infowars host for being untruthful during his testimony on more than one occasion.
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