Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was ordered by a Connecticut jury to pay out over $950 million to the families of the eight victims that were murdered as part of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting that occurred in 2012.
For many years, Jones made the claim that the shooting had been staged and that the families of the children had actually just been crisis actors being used as a way for the government to take strides to take guns away from Americans. The most recent verdict is the second of its kind against Jones, directly following a ruling from a different jury out in Texas which ordered Jones to pay out a total of $4.1 million in what has been labeled compensatory damages and over $45 million in various punitive damages, a sum that could soon be dropped down fairly drastically due to a state law putting a top end cap on the total amount of damages allowed to be paid.
The trial held in Connecticut took place over a period of three weeks and saw the testimony from all of the parents of the victims and the employees of the school, along with an agent of the FBI who was sent out in response to the shooting, CNN reported. This particular case is a consolidation of a group of three other cases which were brought forth by the FBI agent alongside various other families.
Ever since the shooting took place, Jones had repeatedly made the claim that the incident was entirely a hoax, which many families of the victims of the vent have stated throughout the trial led to extreme levels of harassment targeting them and extended levels of anguish after losing their kids. Back in 2018, the families spoke about possibly taking actions against both Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Jones’ conspiracy theorist organization Infowars., and Jones himself.
The prosection pushed the jury to award a massive $550 million based off the number of impressions received by the false claims from Jones online.
“You may say that is astronomical. It is,” explained one attorney for the plaintiffs, Christopher Mattei, while speaking ot the assembled jurors. “It’s exactly what Alex Jones set himself up to do. That’s what he built. He built a lie machine that could push this stuff out. You reap what you sow.”
When Jones first started dealing with lawsuits stemming from his false claims, he did agree that the shooting actually took place, but, as reported by CNN, he did not comply with the orders from the court, as part of the discovery process for the lawsuits levied against him in both Connecticut and Texas, which caused the families to win their default judgments against him.
As of writing, Jones is still looking down the barrel of yet another lawsuit in Texas.