Alex Jones ordered to pay more than $4m in damages for Sandy Hook hoax claims 2 weeks ago

Alex Jones ordered to pay more than $4m in damages for Sandy Hook hoax claims

There will almost certainly be more damages to come

Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered by a Texas jury to pay more than $4m for falsely claiming the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 was a hoax.

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Jones will have to pay the money to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, who was one of 20 children and six school staff killed in the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

The parents had sued Jones for at least $150m in compensation for his baseless claims that the school shooting was a hoax.

They said they experienced harassment and emotional distress because of Jones' fake news.

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On Thursday, the jury in the Austin trial ordered the Infowars host to pay the parents an exact amount of $4,110,000 in compensatory damages. They will return on Friday to determine any punitive damages.

Jones was not in the courtroom when the outcome was announced.

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His team had asked the jury to limit damages to $8, one dollar for each of the compensation charges they are considering, with Jones had claiming any award over $2m "would sink us."

The trial heard evidence that his companies were earning in the region of $800,000 a day.

He had previously tried to file for bankruptcy amid the defamation cases, but in the end this was dismissed.

Earlier in the trial, the far-right provocateur withdrew his claims and said the Sandy Hook attack was "100 percent real" and apologised for having "hurt these people's feelings."

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He had previously been found guilty of defamation, but this is the first trial in which financial damages have been agree by a jury.

On Thursday, there was a remarkable development in the trial when Mark Branston, the lawyer for the parents, revealed that Jones' lawyer had accidentally sent him all of the texts from Jones' phone over the last two years.

This proved the fake news peddler had lied when he testified under oath that he had no texts on his phone pertaining to Sandy Hook.

Jones had to be reminded by the judge presiding over the case that he must tell the truth under oath, with lawyers arguing he had committed perjury.

The case could now set a precedent ahead of other trials Jones faces from the families of more of the Sandy Hook victims, Time reports.

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He has already been found guilty by a Connecticut judge in a similar lawsuit brought by other victims’ families and an FBI agent who worked on the case.

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