InfoWars’ Alex Jones asked for an extra $45.2 million in Sandy Hook
A Texas jury on Friday ordered far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones $45.2 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a child killed in the case. Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012.
The additional damages come a day after the same jury awarded $4.1 million in punitive damages to Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, bringing the total to nearly $50 million, despite although that may be mitigated by Texas law limiting non-economic damages. .
Jones, a far-right media brand, has been controversial for years on InfoWars, his website and radio show. The Sandy Hook cases pose the first significant financial threat to Jones and his company — estimated to be worth as much as $270 million, according to an expert witness who testified on behalf of the parents.
Wesley Ball, an attorney for the parents, on Friday urged juries to “send a message” with their punitive damages award: “Stop Alex Jones, stop making money. from misinformation and lies.”
“I’m asking that with your judgment you don’t just take Alex Jones’ background but he talks about it,” Ball added. “I ask you to make sure he can’t rebuild that foundation.”
Lewis and Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was killed at Sandy Hook, have claimed up to $150 million in damages for emotional torment, saying their lives have become a “terrain” hell” by strangers who sent them death threats and who mistakenly believed the couple had faked their child’s death based on Jones’ comments.
They sued Jones for lying about the 2012 massacre in Sandy Hook Elementary Schoolwhere 20 children and 6 adults were killed, was a hoax staged to justify gun control.
In his testimony, Jones refuted the false claims his companies had aired about the deadliest school shooting in America, saying it was “100% real” and not a “false flag” operation. He also expressed his regret for “accidentally” hurting people’s feelings.
Jones faces two more trials related to his comments about Sandy Hook. One is being brought to Connecticut by the families of eight victims and the other will also be in Texas.
Jones, whose content has been banned on major social media platforms for hate speech, attracts a large audience of more than 8 million monthly visits, according to data firm Similarweb.
Last week, Jones’ Free Language Systems, the parent company of InfoWars, filed for bankruptcy protection in a move that would potentially limit his finances.
During the proceedings, a lawyer for the plaintiffs revealed that Jones’ legal team had unknowingly shared two years’ worth of text messages from his phone, adding that he had received a request to share messages with various authorities, including the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.
On Friday, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said she would not prevent plaintiffs’ attorneys from sharing the January 6 messages with law enforcement or congressional committees.
Additional reporting by Alex Barker