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Alex Jones ordered Sandy Hook’s parents to pay over $4 entertainment

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas jury on Thursday ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million, well short of the $150 million he was being asked to pay. Massacre of Hooks. This marks the first time that Infowars organizers have been held financially accountable for repeatedly claiming the worst school shooting in US history was a hoax.

Austin jurors still Infowarshost have to pay punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett LewisAmong the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut, was his son, Jesse Lewis.

my parents wanted at least $150 million in compensation Defamation and intentional emotional distress.Jones’ attorney asked the jury Limiting damages to $8 ($1 for each claim they considered), Jones himself said an award over $2 million “would sink us.”

A judge in Connecticut has ruled against him in similar cases filed by other victims’ families and by the FBI agent in charge of the case. made a judgment. He also faces another trial in Austin.

Jones’ lead attorney, Andino Raynal, winked at his co-counsel before leaving court.

Outside the court, plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Bankston argued that the $4.11 million amount was not a disappointment, pointing out that it was only part of the damage Jones had to pay.

Jurors will return on Friday to hear more evidence about Jones and his company’s finances.

In a video posted on his website Thursday night, Jones called the reduced award a big win.

“I admitted I was wrong. I admitted I was wrong. I admitted I was following the disinformation, but it was unintentional. I apologized to my family. And the jury said I understand that what I did to those families was wrong, but I didn’t do it on purpose.”

The prize was “more money than my company or I personally have, but we’re going to work hard to get it back,” Jones said.

Bankston suggested that a declaration of victory may be premature.

“We’re not done,” Bankston said. “We knew we had to shoot for the moon to make the jury understand that we were serious and passionate. I will be in debt.”

The total amount awarded in this case may be indicative of other lawsuits against Jones, highlighting the economic threats he faces. New questions have also been raised as to whether Infowars can continue to operate after being banned from Infowars, while the company’s financial situation remains unclear.

litigation Attacks on His First Amendment Rightsadmitted during the trial Attack was ‘100% real’ And he was wrong for lying about it. However, Heslin and Lewis told jurors that an apology wasn’t enough and asked them to pay for the years of suffering Jones had caused them and the rest of the Sandy Hook family.

Parents testified on Tuesday about how they have endured 10 years of trauma. First through the murder of his son, then through shootings fired into his home, threats online and over the phone, and harassment from strangers on the street. Fueled, he said his conspiracy theories spread to his followers through his website Infowars.

Forensic psychiatrists see parents suffering from “complex post-traumatic stress disorder” caused by ongoing trauma, similar to what soldiers in war and victims of child abuse may experience. I testified that there was

At one point during her testimony, Lewis looked straight at Jones, who was barely sitting ten feet away.

“It’s unbelievable to me that I have to beg you and punish you to stop lying,” Lewis told Jones.

Barry Covert, a First Amendment attorney in Buffalo, New York, who was not involved in the Jones case, said the $4 million compensatory damages award was lower than expected given the evidence and testimony. said.

“But I don’t think Jones can count this as a win,” he added. “The truth is, even if you think $4 million is a little high, it matters.”

A jury often rejects an award of punitive damages after determining the amount of compensation. But if they choose, the amount of the penalty is often higher, Covert said. He said he expected him to argue that he should.

“They’re going to want to send the jury the message that they can’t make $2.5 billion in profit by harming someone, and say they’ll just seek damages in court.

Jones was the only witness to testify in his defense, and only attended the trial sporadically during his appearance on the show. received. They reviewed Jones’ own video claims about Sandy Hook over the years, accusing him of lying and trying to cover up evidence, including text messages and emails about the attack. It included an internal email sent by an employee saying, “Things like this Sandy Hook are killing us.”

At one point, Jones was told that his lawyer accidentally sent Bankston texts from Jones’ cell phone from the past two years.Bankston said in court on Thursday that a Jan. 6 committee in the US House of Representatives is investigating the 2021 attack on the US Capitol. I have requested a record and intend to comply.

Shortly after Jones declared, “I don’t use email,” Jones was shown one from his address and another from a business officer at Infowars, who sold the product in one day. I told Jones that I made a total of $800,000 by doing so. This equates to approximately $300 million annually.

Infowars’ parent company, Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems, filing for bankruptcy During the 2 week trial period.

Chicago AP writer Michael Tarm contributed to this report.

Here are more details about AP’s coverage of the school shooting.

Alex Jones ordered Sandy Hook’s parents to pay over $4 entertainment

Source link Alex Jones ordered Sandy Hook’s parents to pay over $4 entertainment

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