A jury in Texas cast far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. ordered to pay $45.2 to 1 million punitive damages. The same juror the day before found Jones guilty of defamation by a judge over his claim that the shooting was a "hoax", as compensatory damages. gave his $4.1 million to the family.
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis say 20 children and six adults died in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, his 6-year-old. One of his sons, Jesse, sued Jones and his media company. Free Speech System, 2018. The couple originally sought at least $150 million in damages from her.
The decision was based on the judgment of the court, as Heslin and Lewis described how their lives were affected by Jones' false allegations. It takes place after a week and a half of his sometimes emotional testimony in
"I cannot even explain the living hell that I and others have had to endure for the past nine and a half years. Alex Jones' recklessness and negligence," Heslin said in testimony Tuesday, describing the abuse the couple suffered from Jones followers. said he was harassed, including receiving
"Jesse was the real deal. I'm the real mom," Lewis told Jones in his testimony. "...I know you know that. That's the problem."
Jones replied and shook his head.
"I know you believe me," she said. "Still, you're about to leave this courthouse and you're going to say it again on your show." In his testimony, he admitted that the shooting was "100% real", but
Jones and his firm were worth up to $270 million, an economist hired by plaintiffs to study Jones' net, which denounced the trial as a 'kangaroo court'. , Bernard Pettingill testified on Friday. According to Pettingill, records show that Jones withdrew $62 million for himself in 2021, the year the lawsuit against Jones was ruled in default.
"In my opinion, this number represents the value of the net worth," Pettingill said. "He's putting money in a bank account somewhere."
Any money that flows into Jones' company will eventually flow into him, says Pettingill, and he will continue to invest in his career. "He's a very successful man," Pettingill said, citing Jones for finding ways to monetize his online messages. He called him a "heretic" and a "revolutionary".
Jones, who briefly appeared in court on Friday but walked away before Pettingill's testimony, told jurors earlier this week that the more than $2 million prize would "sink." And he said a week ago, Infowars' parent company, Free Speech Systems, filed for federal bankruptcy protection.
Jones still faces penalty trials in two more lawsuits in one in Texas and one in Connecticut was filed by the family of the Sandy Hook shooting victim. Judges in each of these trials have already passed judgments in absentia against Jones.
Thank you for reading CBS NEWS.
Create a free account or log in to
for more features.