A Texas jury has ordered right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook school victim. same jury a day ago Family awarded $4.1 million In compensatory damages, when Jones was found liable for defamation by a judge over his claims, the shooting was “a hoax.”
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse was one of 20 children and six adults who were killed in a 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, told Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems. But filed suit in 2018. The couple originally sought at least $150 million in damages.
Judgment at trial sometimes comes a week and a half after emotional testimony, as described by Heslin and Lewis. how his life was affected Jones’ false claims.
“I can’t even describe the last nine-and-a-half years, the living hell that I and others have suffered because of Alex Jones’ carelessness and recklessness,” Heslin said in testimony Tuesday. Jones’ followers. Both said people had shot at their house and car and received threatening emails, among other harassment.
“Jesse was real. I’m a real mom,” Lewis said in her testimony, addressing Jones. “… I know you know this, and that’s the problem.”
Jones nodded in response.
“I know you believe in me,” she said. “And yet you’re going to leave this courthouse and you’re going to say it again on your show.”
The “InfoWars” host, who faces two further damages trials related to his false claims the shooting was staged, admitted in his testimony that the shooting was “100% Genuine” But dismissed the trial as “Kangaroo Court”.
Jones and his company Free Speech Systems are worth up to $270 million, economist Bernard Pettingill, who was hired by the plaintiffs to study Jones’ net worth, testified Friday. Pettingill said records show Jones pulled out $62 million for himself in 2021, when default judgments were issued against him in the lawsuits.
“That number, in my opinion, represents the value of a net worth,” Pettingill said. “Somewhere in the bank account money has been put.”
Pettingill said the money that flows into Jones’ companies eventually goes to him, who he said has testified in about 1,500 cases during his career.
“He is a very successful person,” Pettingill said, calling Jones a “maverick” and “revolutionary” for finding ways to monetize his online messaging.
Jones – who was briefly in the courtroom on Friday but left before Pettingill’s testimony – told jurors earlier this week that any prize of more than $2 million would “overwhelm us.” And a week ago, his company, Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars, filed for federal bankruptcy protection.
Jones Penalty trial faced in two more cases, one in Texas and one in Connecticut, brought by the families of victims in the Sandy Hook shooting. Judges in each of those trials have already issued default judgments against Jones.