Alex Jones trial – live: Jury tells Infowars host to pay $45.2m in punitive damages on top of $4m compensation

Alex Jones declares victory in defamation trial despite losing over $4million

A second verdict has been reached in the trial of Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The jury in Austin, Texas, decided on Thursday he must pay more than $4m in compensation to the parents of six-year-old Jesse Lewis who was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. On Friday they ordered Jones to pay an additional $45.2m in punitive damages.

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis filed a defamation suit against Jones over his claims that the school shooting, that saw 20 children and six adults killed, was a hoax.

Both gave impassioned testimony when in the witness box about how Jones’ lies — broadcast to millions — had impacted their lives and prolonged their grief.

Jones now faces another trial in Texas brought by a different victim’s parents, and another in Connecticut for the families of eight of the other victims.

It transpired during the trial that his own lawyer had mistakenly shared the entire contents of Jones’ phone with the opposition legal team who have been asked to provide it to the January 6 committee.


Watch: Jury awards parents of Sandy Hook victim $45.2m in punitive damages


Jones attorney to appeal amount


Verdict: Jones told to pay additional $45.2m in punitive damages

The jury has told Alex Jones to pay an additional $45.2m in punitive damages on top of the $4.1m in compensatory damages they ordered him to pay yesterday.

Jones and his company now owe a total of $49.1m.


Verdict coming soon

A verdict on punitive damages is expected imminently.

The plaintiffs have returned to the courtroom.


Forgiveness and accountability

Scarlett Lewis, the mother of six-year-old Jesse Lewis who died at Sandy Hook, was the co-plaintiff with Jesse’s father Neil Heslin. After Thursday’s compensatory damages verdict, she had this to say to Alex Jones on Twitter:

Alex Jones, I forgive you. But today we held you accountable.


Economist: Alex Jones, his company worth up to $270m

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his company Free Speech Systems are worth up to $270 million, an economist testified Friday to a jury trying to determine if Jones should have to pay punitive damages to the family of a 6-year-old killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

The same jury ordered Jones to pay Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $4.1 million in compensation for defamation. Punitive damages are determined as a separate issue, and the parents want to punish Jones for a decade of pushing false hoax claims that they say led to a decade of trauma and abuse from the Infowars host’s followers.


‘At one point I thought he was going to start yelling or chanting ‘lock her up’’


Typically bombastic Jones makes for complicated court

Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones bulled through the first of several trials against him that could decimate his personal fortune and media empire in his usual way: Loud, aggressive, and talking about conspiracies both in and out the courtroom.

It’s business as usual for the gravelly voiced, barrel-chested Jones. But by courtroom standards, his erratic and, at times, disrespectful behavior is unusual — and potentially complicated for the legal process.


Voices: Let’s be honest — real justice wasn’t served in the Alex Jones trial

Hannah Selinger writes:

The parents who sued Jones — whose son, Jesse, was murdered at Sandy Hook — had sought damages in the amount of $150 million. That was not a purposeless number born of pure greed. And now Jones will pay only $4.1 million, which won’t have the intended effect at all.


Dan Solomon of Texas Monthly has more information on what to expect from the punitive damages verdict in this portion of the trial.

The $750,000 cap on punitive damages is real, but the plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Bankston believes they can argue that it does not apply in this case and that they are ready to challenge the constitutionality of the cap in the state supreme court.

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