US jury orders Alex Jones to pay $965M for school shooting lies
Oct 13, 2022 - 02:57 AM
WASHINGTON (AA) – A US jury on Wednesday ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $965 million in damages to 15 plaintiffs after he made false statements claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre that left 26 people dead was a hoax.
The victims included 20 school children. Jones falsely claimed the horrific mass shooting never happened and said the victims’ families were crisis actors paid in an effort to restrict US gun ownership rights.
The jury in the state of Connecticut decided on damages for slander and emotional distress caused by Jones’ false statements at the conclusion of the heavily-watched defamation trial.
Among the plaintiffs, including the families of the victims, is FBI agent William Aldenberg, who first responded to the shooting. The jury awarded him $90 million.
The largest sum read by the clerk went to Robert Parker, the father of 6-year-old Emilie Parker, who died during the mass shooting.
The victims testified in court that Jones’ claims resulted in them coming under harassment and abuse from individuals who believed the allegations he made on his InfoWars conspiracy theory show and website.
Jones remained largely defiant during the trial, calling the proceedings a “kangaroo court” and labeling Judge Barbara Bellis a “tyrant.”
Wednesday’s decision is the second major financial blow for Jones in relation to his defamatory claims. In August, he was ordered to pay nearly $50 million by a court in the state of Texas.
A 20-year-old gunman went on a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012, murdering 20 students and six teachers. He also killed his mother before carrying out his deadly assault at the school.
The shooter killed himself as police arrived at the scene.