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Alex Jones ordered to pay parents of Sandy Hook school shooting victim at least $4.1 million in defamation case, jury rules

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An Austin jury ruled Thursday that Infowars host Alex Jones must pay at least $4.1 million to the family of a 6-year-old killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for the suffering, that he and his website and broadcast inflicted on them by spreading lies about the life massacre of 2012.

Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse died along with 19 of his classmates and six educators at the Newtown, Connecticut, school, had sought $150 million for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

A lawyer for Jones, who has repeatedly suggested that the Sandy Hook shooting was a scam, asked the jury to award only $1 to Heslin and Lewis.

The jury should only decide whether Jones, who has already been found liable by a judge for failing to produce crucial evidence before the trial began, should also pay Jesse’s parents for the emotional distress and reputational damage caused by his false allegations. The jury will also determine the award of punitive damages. The panel will hear testimony on the issue on Friday.

The trial included testimonies from both parents and Jones, who has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights. After the shooting, he had claimed that it was fake and that crisis actors were involved. He later admitted it took place.

His lawyer Andino Reynal argued that Jones paid for his mistake by losing millions of followers after being removed from social media platforms in 2018.

“He made a terrible mistake,” Reynal told the jury, citing Jones. “This mistake was armed by the same political forces that ambushed Sandy Hook when it happened.”

While the jury was deliberating Thursday, Reynal filed a mistrial alleging that his team accidentally sent the contents of Jones’ cell phone to Heslin and Lewis’ attorneys. An attorney for Heslin and Lewis used some of the information Wednesday to point out inconsistencies in Jones’ testimony. The judge denied the request.

Heslin and Lewis testified Tuesday that Jones’ lies made them fear for their lives and increased their grief.

“It’s unbearable to have shot a 6-year-old son in front of his classroom and you don’t think you’re going to survive and then to have someone keep up the lie that it was a hoax, it was a false one Flag,” Lewis said, speaking directly to Jones during her testimony. “I don’t think you understand the fear you are maintaining, not only towards the victim’s family, but towards our family, our friends and all the survivors of this school.”

The crux of the process is a 2017 episode of NBC’s “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly,” in which Heslin appeared and challenged Jones’ denial of the shooting. Heslin says in the episode, “I held my son with a bullet hole through the head.”

Jones and another Infowars host, Owen Shroyer, later implied that Heslin lied.

Heslin and Lewis are among several Sandy Hook families that have filed lawsuits against Jones, arguing that his statements that the mass shooting was a hoax led to years of abuse from his supporters.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alex-jones-must-pay-41-million-parents-sandy-hook-school-massacre-vict-rcna41493 Alex Jones ordered to pay parents of Sandy Hook school shooting victim at least $4.1 million in defamation case, jury rules

Fry Electronics Team

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