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Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars, was found guilty in a defamation trial filed by the family of Jesse Lewis, a 6-year-old boy who was killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Jones falsely theorized that the shooting was a hoax intended to destabilize the gun industry.
A Texas jury decided that Jones owes $4.1 million to Lewis’ family. The jury is still deciding how much to award in punitive damages.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 left 20 children and six teachers dead. Other lawsuits are expected against Jones.
Jones said any amount of $2 million “would sink” him and his company.
“Today we secured $4.1 million on behalf of Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis,” attorney Mark Bankston said. “Having already secured $1.5 million in fines from Mr. Jones, the plaintiffs are now due $5.6 million that Alex Jones will have to pay them.”
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Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis suing Jones, were seeking at least $150 million in damages. Jones’ attorney had asked the jury to limit damages to $8 — one dollar for each of the compensation charges they are considering — and Jones himself said any award over $2 million “would sink” him and his company.
“Neil and Scarlett are thrilled with the result and look forward to putting Mr. Jones’ money to good use,” Bankston said. “Mr. Jones on the other hand will not sleep easy tonight. With punitive damages still to be decided and multiple additional defamation lawsuits pending, it is clear that Mr. Jones’ time on the American stage is finally coming to an end.”
The parents testified Tuesday about how they’ve endured a decade of trauma, inflicted first by the murder of their son and what followed: gun shots fired at a home, online and phone threats, and harassment on the street by strangers. They said the threats and harassment were all fueled by Jones and his conspiracy theory spread to his followers via his website Infowars.
“It seems so incredible to me that we have to do this — that we have to implore you, to punish you — to get you to stop lying,” Lewis told Jones.