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Alex Jones must pay $4m in damages for Sandy Hook hoax claims

by Aug 5, 2022World News

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay $4.1m (£3.3m) in damages after falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.

The parents of a victim have sought at least $150m in the Texas defamation trial against the Infowars founder.

They said they endured harassment and emotional distress because of the right-wing host’s misinformation.

Twenty children and six adults were shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The jury in the city of Austin decided compensatory damages on Thursday, and must still determine any punitive damages.

 

Jones – who was not in court when the outcome was announced – has repeatedly argued that the shooting was a hoax organised by the government in order to strip Americans of gun ownership rights, and that the parents of the dead children were “crisis actors”.

He has already lost a series of defamation cases brought by parents of the victims by default after failing to produce documents and testimony.

But this is the first in which financial damages were agreed by a jury.

The case was brought by Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, the separated parents of six-year-old Jesse Lewis, who died in the school shooting.

Ahead of Thursday’s decision, a lawyer for the plaintiffs revealed that Jones’ lawyer had inadvertently sent him two years of texts from his client’s phone.

The attorney said a congressional panel investigating last year’s US Capitol riot had already requested access to the messages. The committee has said Jones helped organise a rally that took place just before the riot.

Despite retracting his claims about Sandy Hook, Jones has continued to use his platform to attack jurors and the judge in this case.

Jesse Lewis, 6, was killed when a man with an assault rifle attacked his classroom

 

 

The parents of Jesse Lewis said Jones had made their lives "hell"

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