A Texas jury on Thursday ordered far-right Infowars host Alex Jones to pay $4.1 million (€3.9 million) in damages to the parents of one of the victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.
It’s the first time the conspiracy theorist has been held legally accountable for his denial of the massacre, which killed 26 children.
Sandy Hook parents received death threats following Jones’ false claims
Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the separated parents of a 6-year-old who died in the shooting, said they received death threats and harassment after Jones’ false claims about the massacre
The attorney for the parents had requested $150 million in compensatory damages. Jones had said any award over $4 million “would sink us.”
The Texas jury still has to decide punitive damages for Jones, which is punishment for harmful behavior by the Infowars host.
Jones’ attorney has said Infowars reported inaccurately on Sandy Hook, but Jones should not be held liable for the harassment Heslin and Lewis have faced.
Jones has previously claimed that the Sandy Hook shooting didn’t happen and the parents of the victims were “crisis actors.” Earlier this week, Jones admitted the shooting was “100% real” during the trial and not a hoax.
Jones mocks trial during Infowar broadcasts
The lawyers for the parents have accused Jones of not approaching the trial in good faith.
Jones has claimed the jury is rigged against him during his Infowars show and mocked the Sandy Hook parents.
During the two-week trial, Jones’ company Free Speech Systems LLC, filed for bankruptcy.
Jones is also facing a defamation case in Connecticut.
wd/rs (AP, Reuters)