Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Sandy Hook Parents $4 Million in Compensatory Damages

AUSTIN (AP)— A Texas jury on Thursday ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages to the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, marking the first time the Infowars host has been held financially liable for repeatedly claiming the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history was a hoax.

The Austin jury must still decide how much the Infowars host must pay in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 children and six educators who were killed in the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut.

The parents had sought at least $150 million in compensation for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Jones’ attorney asked the jury to limit damages to $8 — one dollar for each of the compensation charges they are considering — and Jones himself said any award over $2 million “would sink us.”

It likely won’t be the last judgment against Jones — who was not in the courtroom — over his claims that the attack was staged in the interests of increasing gun controls. A Connecticut judge has ruled against him in a similar lawsuit brought by other victims’ families and an FBI agent who worked on the case.

Outside the courthouse Thursday, the plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Bankston insisted that the $4.11 million amount wasn’t a disappointment, noting it was only part of the damages Jones will have to pay.

The jury returns Friday to hear more evidence about Jones and his company’s finances.

“We aren’t done folks,” Bankston said. “We knew coming into this case it was necessary to shoot for the moon to get to understand we were serious and passionate. After tomorrow, he’s going to owe a lot more.”

The total amount awarded in this case could set a marker for the other lawsuits against Jones and underlines the financial threat he’s facing. It also raises new questions about the ability of Infowars — which has been banned from YouTube, Spotify and Twitter for hate speech — to continue operating, although the company’s finances remain unclear.

Jones, who has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights, conceded during the trial that the attack was “100% real” and that he was wrong to have lied about it. But Heslin and Lewis told jurors that an apology wouldn’t suffice and called on them to make Jones pay for the years of suffering he has put them and other Sandy Hook families through.

The parents testified Tuesday about how they’ve endured a decade of trauma, inflicted first by the murder of their son and what followed: gun shots fired at a home, online and phone threats, and harassment on the street by strangers. They said the threats and harassment were all fueled by Jones and his conspiracy theory spread to his followers via his website Infowars.

A forensic psychiatrist testified that the parents suffer from “complex post-traumatic stress disorder” inflicted by ongoing trauma, similar to what might be experienced by a soldier at war or a child abuse victim.

At one point in her testimony, Lewis looked directly at Jones, who was sitting barely 10 feet away.

“It seems so incredible to me that we have to do this — that we have to implore you, to punish you — to get you to stop lying,” Lewis told Jones.

Jones was the only witness to testify in his defense. And he came under withering attack from the plaintiffs attorneys under cross-examination, as they reviewed Jones’ own video claims about Sandy Hook over the years, and accused him of lying and trying to hide evidence, including text messages and emails about the attack. It also included internal emails sent by an Infowars employee that said “this Sandy Hook stuff is killing us.”

At one point, Jones was told that his attorneys had mistakenly sent Bankston the last two years’ worth of texts from Jones’ cellphone. Bankston said in court Thursday that the U.S. House Jan. 6 committee investigating the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol has requested the records and that he intends to comply.

And shortly after Jones declared “I don’t use email,” Jones was shown one that came from his address, and another one from an Infowars business officer telling Jones that the company had earned $800,000 gross in selling its products in a single day, which would amount to nearly $300 million in a year.

Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems, which is Infowars’ parent company, filed for bankruptcy during the two-week trial.


The Associated Press’s Jim Vertuno contributed to the contents of this report.

READ THE DOCS: Trump Threatens to Sue Pulitzer Board if They Refuse to Revoke NYT and WaPo Russia Hoax Reporting Prizes in Response to Hillary Revelations

Source: https://cdn.nucleusfiles.com/35/3574f98b-ca2b-470a-9738-b4dd66c3cc30/letter-to-the-pulitzer-prizes.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ncl_amplify&utm_campaign=20220531-letter_to_the_pulitzer_prizes&utm_content=ncl-mrmwCGCqhd&_nlid=mrmwCGCqhd&_nhids=GK16tEqV

CONFIRMED: No Order Given to Storm School During Uvalde Mass Shooting

UVALDE, TX — A Texas state legislator said Tuesday that no one gave the order for cops to storm a local elementary school classroom while a gunman remained barricaded inside for more than an hour.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez told CNN’s “At This Hour” that no order was ever given to rush gunman Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School where 21 people were killed — before a group of agents decided on their own to go in and take out the killer.

“Is it your understanding that no command decision was ever made to breach the classroom?” host Kate Bolduan asked.

“That is my understanding,” Gutierrez answered. “What I have been told from law enforcement is that [the US Border Patrol] finally took it upon themselves and said, ‘We’re going in.’

“There’s a lot going on and I understand, and they’re still unpacking a lot of these things,” Gutierrez added, according to a rebroadcast of the interview by Mediaite. “These families deserve all the answers.”

Police said 19 fourth-graders and two teachers were shot dead after the 18-year-old stormed the school and opened fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle.

Ramos remained barricaded inside two adjoining classrooms for more than an hour before the border agents stormed in and shot him dead.

But Gutierrez said the inquiry has to go beyond the actions of Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who waited all that time without giving an order to attack Ramos.

“To blame one cop on the scene with the six other cops that work for him isn’t good enough,” he said. “I don’t know Mr. Arredondo. Certainly, there was an error there.

“But I think at every point along the way you have superior forces coming in that should’ve said, ‘Let’s go in now,’ just like the CBP cop at one point said, ‘I’m done with this. I’m going in,’” Gutierrez said.

“And so, at what point do people not use some common sense here, listen to 911 calls that are coming in, understand that kids are still alive inside and know that they have to go in there, do their jobs under the active shooter protocol,” he said. “Just ’cause one person makes a mistake doesn’t mean that others have to compound on that.”

The senator’s comments come as the first two funerals for the young victims of the mass shooting are being held in Uvalde.

Grieving families are also holding wakes for two other youngsters and one of the two teachers who were killed at the school.


The New York Post’s Jorge Fitz-Gibbon contributed to the contents of this report.


Gutierrez told CNN that Border Patrol agents took it upon themselves to enter the school and confront the shooter.
Photo Courtesy: Facebook / Joe Paul Ortega